County sports tradition could be in danger of becoming obsolete

Monday, March 13, 2017

One of Greene Countyís best sports traditions is in danger of becoming a thing of the past after 47 seasons.

The Greene County Daily World has learned the annual Greene County Invitational may not return in its current form in early January 2018. Weíve been told some schools are upset and may not participate, and theyíre in the process of putting together their own boys basketball tournament.

Unfortunately we canít get anyone to go on the record, but more than one person has shared with the newspaper the concerns. Itís our policy not to use unnamed sources unless absolutely necessary, but this isnít one of those cases. We can get our point across without an on-the-record or unnamed source.

The Greene County Invitational is an event area basketball fans have become accustomed to attending each January. All five Greene County schools, along with three outside the county, make up the eight-team field. The other three have been North Central, Clay City and Vincennes Rivet in recent years. In past years, North Knox, Union, and North Daviess have taken part.

Itís a great post-holiday hoops party for many. College students are back home and enjoy going to the invitational and watching their former schools play. It also gives them the opportunity to catch up with friends. Basketball fans in general pack the house.

Attendance is just as good or better than the sectional, and the atmosphere for Fridayís semifinals and Saturdayís third place and championship games normally result in a packed gym. To see that go away would be a shame.

The issues that were brought to our attention seem valid, but not something that canít be overcome. Bloomfield just recently joined the GCI, making it a true county affair. Weíd hate to see two, three or more Greene County schools pull out.

Hopefully school officials can sit down and work out the issues and keep in mind the GCI is about the players and fans. And from our standpoint it would be a major loss for Greene County if some county schools decided to leave the GCI and form another event.