By Shawn Liverance
Local Sports Journal
Since moving to the Ludington area, the American Youth Basketball Tour has been a hit with players and their families.
“The Lake Michigan beach is the main attraction for families coming to Ludington,” AYBT Co-Director Jim Goorman said. “It is a resort town and many families like to camp or stay near the beach and spend time between games at the beach.”
Originally centered in the Traverse City area, the northern Michigan AYBT event moved to the Ludington area 12 years ago.
This year’s event will take place July 12-13 at several sites in the Ludington area.
Ludington High School and Ludington Junior High School’s North Gym are scheduled to host games along with Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern High School and West Shore Community College.
Last year, the Ludington AYBT event drew 85 teams and this year it will look to draw just as many teams as the event is open to both boys and girls’ teams from grades 3-12.
The city of Ludington has a population of 8,000 and sits on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
A mecca for year-round tourists, Ludington boasts some of the best boating and swimming on Lake Michigan and is the home of Ludington State Park, which is the most visited state park in Michigan.
Hamlin Lake, the Pere Marquette River, Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area and the Manistee National Forest are all nearby attractions in the Ludington area.
“The beautiful sands of Lake Michigan are a great attraction for the players and their families,” said Goorman.
Registration deadline is July 5.