More than 300 area youth from Texas and Louisiana recently gathered in Beaumont to compete at the Inaugural “Texas Super Showcase” Basketball Tournament, benefitting IEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve/Ben’s Kids.
Hosted by the Beaumont Athletics Club, the three-day tournament featured 30 skilled teams, composed of players ranging in age from nine to sixteen.
The winners from the tournament were as follows:
· 10U Girls Bracket: Lumberton Lady Allstars
· 10U Boys Bracket: LC Stars
· 12U Girls Bracket: Beaumont Athletics Club Lady Cardinals
· 12U Boys Bracket: MC Flight
· 14U Boys Bracket: LC Stars
· 16U Boys Bracket: BMT Mustangs
Though the competition was fierce, the mission of the tournament was never forgotten. Through donations and sales, $1,500 was raised forIEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve/Ben’s Kids, an organization that inspires and encouragesarea youth who have experienced hardships and difficulties by initiating enhanced educational, rehabilitative and other support services for them and their families.
“IEA has the same goals that I have,” said Landon Ardoin, Director of the Beaumont Athletics Club. “I want to make a difference in the lives of children, see them go to college and be successful. Athletics are just a tool to reach those individuals and bring them together. I’m proud to help them achieve their dreams, just as others helped me achieve my dreams.”
Founded by Ardoin, who is a 1999 graduate of the Ben Rogers/Lamar University/BISD “I Have a Dream” Program, the Beaumont Athletics Club is a youth organization that facilitates affordable sporting competitions, while fostering the personal, academic and physical progress of its participants.
In the spirit of “paying it forward,” Ardoin, a kinesiology student at Lamar University, and his wife, Billie Ardoin, a Lamar University Department of Education 2013 graduate, are perpetuating the mission of the late child advocate, Ben Rogers, who dedicated his life to helping young people achieve dignity and respect through knowledge, compassion, understanding and love. The Beaumont Athletics Club similarly encourages community activism and support for other non-profits that share its collective vision for area youth.
As the tournament’s benefitting charity, IEA strives to support the needs of local, at-risk youth. Last year, IEA staff and volunteers worked in the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center (MRJJC) with more than 325 youth, who received counseling and other therapeutic services, including anger management, art and yoga. Staff also provided parenting classes for nearly 100 parents, who benefited from a supportive network of resources, enabling them to strengthen their parenting skills and develop stronger support systems. Only four of the 92 “Ben’s Kids” enrolled in IEA’s outreach program returned to the MRJJC for a new offense while participating in Ben’s Kids activities.
For more information about the Beaumont Athletics Club, please contact Landon Ardoin at (409) 499-7815. For additional information about IEA – Inspire Encourage Achieve/Ben’s Kids, please contact Angeliqueca Avery at (409) 839.8778.