SIDNEY — Aspiring young basketball players converged in Sidney over the weekend, hailing from the Nebraska Panhandle and surrounding states to compete in the Youth Classic Basketball tournament.

This tournament hosted 46 teams with boys and girls in grades 5-8.

Cheyenne County Community Center Activities Director Tara Gray says the tournament is important to the entire community as it brings people from all over Sidney to spend money locally.

“It affects every restaurant, every hotel, it affects everyone’s neighbors, every crew member and their families, it affects everything,” Gray says.

Gray says she wants to make changes to the program to make it better for next year.

“I hate to say it but at some point this weekend I said I think we’re at a crucial point where we either have to fix it or forget about it and that’s a huge event, c It’s important to a lot of people so I feel like we have no choice but to fix it,” Gray says.

Gray says there are a lot of planning things the Classic could improve on and she hopes to start planning far enough in advance so that next year and all years to come go smoothly.

Gray plans to make it easier to register at the event and online using websites and apps that other parents say they use for other tournaments.

Gray also wants to make the tournament a prepaid event so parents don’t have to bring cash and won’t be surprised when asked for cash at the door. She also wants to use new software to track data quickly and efficiently, without lag.

“We will have better publicity, better community involvement…being a community center, I would like to put the community back at the center” Gray said.

Now that the tournament is over, Gray plans to have a meeting with the coaches, referees and parents to get everyone’s suggestions to make the classic tournament the best event to come.

“Make sure this whole city works as a team to take care of our visitors and our citizens, and we are all working together to make this a fantastic and profitable weekend for everyone involved,” says Gray.