KD tournament marks 10-year milestone for Shamrock Shootout

Georgetown sophomore Kaylie Boehm reacts to players trying to keep a ball in bounds Sunday during the 10th annual Shamrock Shootout in the Preston Center. Proceeds from the event, presented by Kappa Delta, went to the Family Enrichment Center of Bowling Green. Hoop Yall won the shootout 45-44 over the BAB All Starz.

Hayley Hilbert

Stacey Forsythe remembers when the Shamrock Shootout was just beginning.

Ten years ago, Forsythe was an event chairperson for the first year of the philanthropy while a member of Kappa Delta sorority at WKU.

Now the KD chapter adviser, Forsythe watched the event she helped create reach its 10-year anniversary.

“The first year of the tournament, we only had about 13 teams,” Forsythe said. “The next year we had about 20, and 10 years later, we have to cap the number at 60.”

Forsythe said the Shamrock Shootout has been a great philanthropy event for the sorority.

“It’s something that a lot of people, including the teams, look forward to,” she said.

One of those teams, known as Package Deal, has been dedicated to the Shamrock Shootout since its very first tournament. Team captain Hopkinsville resident Eric Davie,explained the reasoning behind the team’s 10-year relationship with the event.

“We love the competition we get here,” Davie said. “It’s great to be able to just come out and play basketball.”

Teammate and close friend Keith Leslie agreed.

“We like playing basketball together,” Leslie said. “We don’t have to worry about stuff when we’re playing. We do it as often as we can. I guess you could say we make a little vacation out of it.”

Leslie said that basketball has been a large factor in the friendship shared between the teammates, as he revealed the story behind the team name “Package Deal.”

“We all founded this team,” he said. “We all played intramural basketball in college. Well, we got split up, and one team ended up making it to the championship, and one team didn’t. Ever since then, we always play together — we’re a package deal.”

But the roots of their passion for the Shamrock Shootout stem past their love of basketball — the issue of child abuse hits close to home for these men.

“We’re all very passionate about kids,” Davie said. “Most of us spend a lot of time with them on a daily basis. Two of us work in schools, and two others work in areas that deal with mental health care for neglected children.”

Proceeds from the event went to the Family Enrichment Center in Bowling Green and Prevent Child Abuse America, said Glasgow sophomore Taylor Emberton, chairperson of the event.

“A lot of kids won’t open up about it,” Davie said. “But child abuse is still there. It still happens.”

The Shamrock Shootout raised about $20,000 this year, Emberton said. The team Hoop Y’all were the winners of the tournament.

Despite their loss in the tournament, Package Deal is ready to make their eleventh appearance in the Shamrock Shootout next year.

“Oh, yeah, we’ll definitely be here again,” Davie said.