'Most Hated' takes home Dust Bowl title

Robert Augsdorfer/The Messenger

Tremain Hopgood, 15 in black, on team Most Hated tries to defend against a player from team Hoops trying to go for a layup. Hopgood is a 13-year Dust Bowl veteran and Most Hated won the 2019 Dust Bowl.

The three-day outdoor basketball tournament at Dr. Festus Claybon Park came to a close Sunday with team "Most Hated" defeating "Dem Boyz" 73-72 to take home the coveted team title. This year's Dust Bowl was the 36th annual and the 10th year it was hosted by Light of Chance.

"The tournament turned out really well this year," said Eric Logan, organizer for the Dust Bowl and founder of Light of Chance. "It's great that we're keeping it alive after 36 years, 10 with Light of Chance, but most importantly we're using the platform for the local community while providing highly competitive basketball."

The action on the court was exciting from the opening tip-off Friday night as players from all ages showed their talent in fast-paced games.

"It's a good field this year," said Tremaine Hopgood from Most Hated. "I feel there's at least 12 good teams this year. Everybody's come to play. It's competitive, and we got to bring our game to make it to championship Sunday."

Hopgood is a 13-year Dust Bowl veteran and welcomed the new improvements to the park's basketball courts.

"The courts are really nice this year," Hopgood said. "I really like what they did with the fencing, and the atmosphere is great at night with the lights on."

"The players are there for the love of the game," Logan said.

Along with the basketball, there were food trucks all around the courts and a DJ in between the two courts pumping out music for the players and fans. To give back to the community, there was a health fair on Saturday evening and back-to-school events for kids on Sunday.

Light of Chance already has the dates scheduled for the 2020 Dust Bowl set for July 31 through Aug. 2 at the park.

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