For 33 years, the Shriners have put on a basketball-lovers’ show.
The Bedouin Shrine Classic has seen its ups and downs, and has expanded since its humble beginnings.
It is old enough to be considered a Muskogee tradition.
The weeklong tournament continues today and culminates Saturday, with championship games at the Muskogee Civic Center.
The tournament is the Bedouin Shrine Temple’s largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds from the event go to the Bedoudin Shriners’ transportation fund.
The Bedouin Shriners provide transportation to and from four Shrine-operated hospitals for children who have burn injuries or orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate care at no charge to the family. The hospitals are operated by the Shriners, with contributions from the national organization and private donations.
All their treatments go to children 18 years and younger.
A few years back, the Shrine realized one of its dreams it had when it first started the tournament that one of the children they helped receive treatment competed in the tournament. There have been even more since then.
So go out and support this tournament.
It is a noble and good cause.
And, you get to watch good basketball, to boot.