BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — No basketball games will be played at this year’s State Farm Holiday Classic.
But this could be most impactful version ever of the 64-team tournament. The tournament is holding a canned food drive to support those in need.
“We’re calling it the Classic Can Drive,” said tournament volunteer Chris Highland. “It will take place on the 29th of December. Anyone and everyone who has supported our tournament over the years, we are asking you to support us even still here in 2020. Bring your canned foods and your non-perishable items, and we will donate all of that to the Midwest Food Bank.”
Several area basketball programs scheduled to play in the State Farm Holiday Classic have already committed to participate in the Classic Can Drive.
“Just knowing that they are going to try to do something like this to keep the community involved, I think it’s a wonderful event and I jumped on it as soon as I saw the email go out,” said Central Catholic girls basketball coach Debbie Coffman. “So, I’m really proud to help organize it for Central Catholic.”
It’s the sentiment of a lot of coaches.
“I kind of looked at it as a great opportunity for our kids to serve kids and serve this community,” said Bloomington girls basketball coach Austin Myers. “When I think of The Classic, I think of a great tournament hosted by a great community and they have given our kids so much and the community so much over the years, it’s a great opportunity to help them give back.”
The high school basketball season in Illinois hasn’t started this year due to the pandemic. In fact, right now all high school sports are on hold but this is way coaches and athletes can make a difference in their communities.
“This has been a hard year for a lot of people in this community,” Highland said. “So the goal is to try and set the Bloomington-Normal community off on the right foot for 2021.”
You can donate to the Classic Can Drive by dropping off canned goods at Illinois Wesleyan’s Shirk Center on December 29th. There will also be drop off locations at Bloomington, Normal Community and Normal West High Schools.