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Monticello hears proposal for Basketball Tournament

Vincent Kurzrock
Posted 3/26/24

The Village Board of Monticello heard a proposal for a basketball tournament.  

Darius Rodgers, the CEO of the AZIM clothing brand and Monticello native, spoke before the Board and the …

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Monticello hears proposal for Basketball Tournament


The Village Board of Monticello heard a proposal for a basketball tournament. 

Darius Rodgers, the CEO of the AZIM clothing brand and Monticello native, spoke before the Board and the public  on March 20.

He stated that he wanted to do a Basketball Tournament for brand awareness for all the brands around Monticello, such as clothing brands as well as smaller businesses.

Rodgers said that the point of the tournament is to have youth and older people come together as a community and work with each other and be together as a community and as family.

He said that the location of this tournament would be behind the Ted Stroebele building at the basketball court on June 15 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“But the whole point of the basketball game is to bring brand awareness, like I said, to all the clothing brands or all the brands around Monticello,” explained Rodgers.

When asked if he had a rain date for the event, Rodgers responded with “a week after” on June 22.

Rodgers also explained that, currently, they have five teams. His brand, AZIM Clothing, would be playing.He would be joined by Malik Bridges whose brand is PALETTE.

He also explained that he would be joined by Eli Rivera, whose brand is Supesu. He was said to make “great drawings and everything” at The Black Library.

“Right now it’s [the number of teams] is only five, but the goal is to have at least seven to eight teams,” described Rodgers.“We’re trying to get all brands incorporated into this. So anybody that wants to do that it could draw awareness to them that it could happen or anything is possible.”

He’s aiming for the age groups to be between 14 through 17. He suggested the possibility of the youngest group even being thirteen. However, he said it depends on the mentality of how everything runs out and who he speaks to. For the older group, he’s aiming for 18 through 25.

“Just give a good game and it shows the youth can do something other than what’s been [reportedly] going on in the town,” said Rodgers.

Danielle Gallati from Reach Towards The Stars, was present among the public. She told Rodgers of how she owns a small business and that she knew the importance of making sure one’s brand and name are out there.

She suggested that Rodgers could probably consider having a small business sponsor the participating teams, as well, because it could be another way to help the event.

Rodgers responded that he wanted to have The Black Library behind it. He noted how he’s very close to Michael Davis and Douglas Shindler, the co-founders. He described their relationship as “like family” to him.

He suggested doing something in the middle, such as a halftime show, likening it to how The Black Library has open-mic nights.

Board member Gordon Jenkins explained that there will be a new Board coming in following the recent elections. He assured that the Board that night was all for it.

“No disrespect to anybody here, but maybe we can sit down with you and put it together,” suggested Jenkins. “The code enforcement, she does have issues with it such as food and the crowd. There’s more to it than just saying “yeah, we’re gonna let it happen.” 

The Code Enforcement Officer BetteJean (BJ) Gettel, who was also present, elaborated that the issue was more towards the safety of the public and the people that are attending.

Board Member Michael Banks reasoned that the Board can open it with just the tournament alone, ranging the spectators to be between 30 and 40 people at the most.

Banks noted that he had a whole Summer League in the Ted Stroebele basketball court previously.

He suggested the Board vote on the tournament, voting for and making sure the dates get locked down and then the Board will “go over the plans and everything later.”

Jenkins assured that the Board was with Rodgers, because they want more of that activity in the Village.

“When we’re finished even with the crowd you [Rodgers] said a hundred and he [Banks] said forty,” leveled Jenkins, “Just to be safe. That way, we’ll have something,  and we’ll work with you. Just trust me.”

Jenkins and Rodgers agreed that the Board and him talk and they’ll put something together.


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