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DBA 3 on 3 event draws more than 120 elementary, middle school players

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

The Darting Basketball Academy wrapped up Year No. 3 of its six-week 3 on 3 tournament for elementary and middle school players Tuesday night, with more than 120 players taking part at Shawnee Heights.

FXA5V33XgAYk8D Kerry Darting (middle) poses with Darting Basketball Academy 3 on 3 tournament middle school MVPs Brecken McGuire (left) and KK Emmot (right) Tuesday night at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

FXA6I3HWAAECTUdKerry Darting poses with Darting Basketball Academy 3 on 3 Tournament elementary school MVPs Ryder Valdivia (left), Kamryn Carlson (middle) and Hudson Heim (right) Tuesday night at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

The tournament has a unique format, with players rotating from team to team each game to give players an opportunity to team up with players of varying talent levels.

"Kids don't often have an opportunity to just go and experiment and play and not be worried about a coach yelling at them or getting taken out of a game,'' Kerry Darting said. "We train these kids all year to work on their skills so this kind of gives them an environment where they come in and work on those skills and not worry about making mistakes -- just kind of have fun with it but at the same time compete and try to get better.'' 

A unique scoring system allows participants to accumulate points during the six-week tournament, culminating in the presentation of Most Valuable Player awards to the top point-getters in each division.

"If you're going to be the MVP at the end of the six weeks you have to win with whoever's on your team so I think it makes it a lot more competitive,'' Darting said.

Ryder Valdivia received the MVP Tuesday night for 8 and 9-year-old boys while Hudson Heim was named MVP for 10-11 boys and Kamryn Carlson was named MVP for 9-10-year-old girls.

KK Emmot was named the middle school girls MVP while Brecken McGuire earned the same honor for middle school boys.

WEEMS, WILHOITE TO HEADLINE THURSDAY CAMP

Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Famers Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite will be in Topeka Thursday to host the Darting Basketball Academy Youth Foundation Big Kev's Community Give Back Dual Basketball/Football Camp at Shawnee Heights.

The two Highland Park graduates and longtime professional athletes will be on hand with other special guests to host the camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Athletes have the option between all-day basketball or football camps or can split their time between half-day basketball and football camps.

One hundred percent of the camp profits will be donated to Topeka non-profit organizations.

Weems and Wilhoite played together at Highland Park before Weems went on to earn Missouri Valley Player of the Year basketball honors at Missouri State and Wilhoite became a football standout for Washburn University.

Wilhoite put together a seven-year NFL career as a linebacker with San Francisco and Seattle and is currently the linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Weems continues to play professional basketball overseas and recently wrapped up his 2021-2022 season in Bologna, Italy.

Thursday's camp is named in honor of Kyle's late father, Kevin, a former Washburn University basketball player, who had a big impact on the athletic careers of both Weems and Wilhoite.

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