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2020 ‘High School Holiday Hoops’ at NCMC bows to coronavirus

Event's steering committee axed holiday-season prep basketball action at Trenton (Mo.) college Wednesday, Nov. 18

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
The scheduled 2020 High School Holiday Hoops event at Trenton's North Central Missouri College has been canceled, due to COVID-19 concerns and comoplications.
  • Fifty-five Missouri and Iowa schools were due to participate

TRENTON, Mo. — To no one’s real surprise, the 16th-annual North Central Missouri College Foundation-sponsored “High School Holiday Hoops” event will be delayed until (hopefully) 2021.

First played in 2005 at the Trenton community college’s attractive Ketcham Community Center, home of NCMC’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, the planned 2020 edition of “Holiday Hoops” added its name to the nearly-endless list of events and activities eliminated, postponed, or altered by the still-burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic.

Official word of the anticipated cancellation of this year’s planned “Hoops” extravaganza at Trenton came Wednesday in a news release from chief organizer Steve Maxey.

“At a special meeting of the Holiday Hoops Steering Committee held last night,” he wrote Wednesday, “it was decided to cancel the 2020 edition of High School Holiday Hoops scheduled for this December. 

“Due to the increasing number of COVID cases in Grundy and surrounding counties, coupled with the many counties in both Missouri and Iowa where participating high schools are coming from, the committee felt there was no other decision to make but to cancel.

For the first time in 16 years, North Central Missouri College's Ketcham Community Center in Trenton will sit mostly silent, rather than be the site of near-constant high school basketball competition – such as this between the Hale/Bosworth Lady Cardinals and Mound City last Dec. 23 – this holiday season. The steering committee of the NCMC Foundation's "High School Holiday Hoops" extravaganza officially announced Wednesday (Nov. 18) that COVID-19 complications have prompted a decision to cancel the event for 2020.

“Although disappointed for student-athletes, coaches, and fans, members (of the committee) felt that there would be no way to guarantee a safe environment for the number of attendees converging on the campus of North Central Missouri College over a 9-day period.”

Maxey noted 55 high schools from Missouri and Iowa, represented by over 100 teams, were scheduled to be in Trenton at some time from shortly before Christmas through New Year’s Eve – some with multiple appearances – for what would have been the 16th-annual “Holiday Hoops” shootout.

“Due to the large number of schools and student/athletes involved, officials felt the decision to cancel was the right decision for the safety of all involved,” Maxey stated in the release.

“The steering committee is deeply sorry, but members are already talking about the 2021 event.”