BY JEFF FALK
LEBANON – Take care of the rock.
Get everyone involved.
Team work ahead of individuality.
Move the ball.
Defense before offense.
The same principles for successful basketball also apply to succcess in a community. That’s what makes Sweep The Streets and the city of Lebanon such a great fit.
Sweep The Streets is a celebration of basketball. It’s a celebration of Lebanon.
But most importantly, Sweep The Streets is a celebration of basketball and the city of Lebanon.
On a warm Sunday afternoon, on the hot macadam of Southeast Playground on Walnut Street in the city, hundreds of residents from all over Lebanon County turned out to take in what the 12th edition of the annual Sweep The Streets men’s outdoor basketball tournament was showing out. Because of the festival atmosphere, the positive community vibe and the feeling of fellowship, the outcome only really seemed to matter to those on the court.
For the record, Furman Industrial defeated the KCS Raiders in the second championship game to claim the trophy of the two-day, 16-team, double-elimination tournament. It was Furman Industrial’s second straight Sweep The Streets crown.
“It’s a men’s tournament, but it also brings youth out,” said Sweep The Streets founder, organizer and master of ceremonies George ‘GZO’ Rodriguez. “It’s important that we continue to do this and learn from it. The most important thing in a community is trust. We need our youth. It kind of shows, ‘My city is great, and a bunch of men can get together and play a game of competitive basketball and get along.’
“Hats off to the people behind the scenes who do things for the community,” continued Rodriguez. “Whether it’s basketball related or community advocacy related. Let’s continue to work together to make Lebanon great.”
“Besides the basketball, my favorite part is just seeing everyone,” said Blayde Reich, a member of the winning side, a former Lebanon standout and a current Washington General. “It’s a big social event. It’s nice to see everyone here connecting. Basketball is number one, but reconnecting is a close second. I know people who don’t even like basketall but still come out.