BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Summer Basketball League is set to return with a record number of teams and a league sponsor for summer 2023.
Mitch Shaw, president of the Board of Directors for the Upshur County Recreation Complex, said this will be the second time the nonprofit group has acquired a league sponsor. This year, that sponsor is Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
“CEC, which is the engineering firm the county is working with on the proposed Rec Complex grounds out on 33, agreed to work with us for our summer league, and then they’re going to be our league sponsor,” Shaw said. “That’s a huge thing for us this year; they’ve agreed to give us a nice sum of money that’s going to help us with our operational costs and make this an actual, worthwhile fundraising event.”
Shaw said there are several operational costs that CEC will cover as the league sponsor, which allows the Upshur County Recreation Complex to collect more money for the fundraiser.
“We’re able to pay all of our referee fees because of having a league sponsor. Our refs get paid per game, and we have two refs per game, so you’re looking at quite a bit of overhead cost there,” Shaw said. “We always wanted to get refs that were qualified, trained-up refs – that way, we weren’t just relying on another player who could be biased. We get refs that are trained by the state of West Virginia and local boards that do high school and some college games.”
Shaw approached CEC about becoming a league sponsor after the firm started working with the county on creating a master plan for a new recreational complex across from Red Rock Road on Old Route 33.
“I reached out through someone that played for CEC’s team last year and said, ‘Hey, would you care to ask them if they’d be interested in being our league sponsor this year?’ and they’re still going to sponsor a team as well,” Shaw said. “CEC really sees the need for a rec complex here in the county, and their employees are going to directly benefit from it, so it’s a win-win for everyone. They’re investing back in the community, and they’re supporting their employees as well.”
The basketball league is an annual fundraiser the Upshur County Recreation Complex established to raise funds to establish a rec complex in Upshur County, and Shaw said that mission will remain the same.
“We’re moving forward as we normally would operate in the assumption that eventually these funds will be allocated towards this facility,” Shaw said. “It’s hard to say if this is going to be our biggest fundraiser, but it is one of the events that gets us the most exposure because we have over 150 people either playing or involved in some way with the league, and then we have updates being posted in the newspaper weekly for the games. That gets all the sponsors recognition, every team sponsor, the banner sponsors — all that good stuff.”
The league already has 17 teams committed to playing, starting in June and ending July 7.
“We’ll be playing Monday through Friday in the evenings at the outdoor court at the Upshur County Rec Park beside the pavilions, behind the football stadium at the high school,” Shaw said. “The county has done a great job of upgrading the court up there, and they put in new backboards and rims last year.”
“We had a lot of problems with those last year because of the wear and tear, so we weren’t able to play up there for very long, but those should be in tip-top shape this year,” he added.
Shaw thanked CEC for their continued support of the league and invited other local businesses to sponsor a team or banners.
“We really want to thank CEC for their sponsorship; that’s a huge thing for us, and we’re looking forward to another great season,” Shaw said. “If there’s any businesses out there that are interested in being either a team sponsor or maybe just having a banner sponsor, we do put up banners along the fence line every year so we can support other sponsorships that maybe just want to help cover some of the costs.”
“That helps us out, and we want to give everybody recognition that helps us out, and we really appreciate all the support that this community has given us throughout the year,” he said.
Keep an eye on the Upshur Recreation Complex’s Facebook page for upcoming announcements about the Summer Basketball League.