The 26th annual Donell Woods Memorial Basketball Tournament tips off 10 a.m. Jan. 19, and will feature some of the area’s best junior-varsity squads. The event is free and open to the public.
This year, the tournament is hosted by Bradwell Institute and games will be played at Lewis Frasier Middle School and Snelson-Golden Middle School. Game times are 10 and 11:15 a.m.; and 12:30, 1:45, 3 and 4:15 p.m.
The tournament is named after Donell Woods, who was a 1957 graduate of Liberty County High. Tournament Director and Head Coach for the Bradwell girls basketball team Faye Baker is Donell’s relative, so this tournament is something special.
“Donell Woods was my first cousin,” Baker said. “I was a junior in high school when he died. It means more to me than most people because he was a relative.”
Woods coached football at his alma mater from 1962-72, when schools within Liberty County were integrated. Woods served as an assistant football coach and head basketball coach at Bradwell from 1972 until he succumbed to lung cancer in 1980.
“We wanted to continue and keep the legacy going,” Baker continued. “Donell Woods was a great man, teacher and coach in the community. He helped so many kids during his tenure, and we just wanted to keep his legacy alive. The fact that it’s going strong 26 years later is fantastic.”
Woods won the Hinesville Officials Association’s Official of the Year award and was a two-time Coach of the Year from the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association. Woods is also a Liberty County Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
He was honored posthumously by the football stadium at LCHS being named after him.
The Donell Woods Memorial Basketball Tournament was created in the early 1990s by former Bradwell coach Willie Graham as a way to keep Woods’s legacy alive for future athletes.
Those who want to honor Coach Woods memory are encouraged to send a tax-deductible donation to the Donell Woods Memorial Tournament, P.O. Box 209, Allenhurst, GA 31301.
For more information, contact Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.