It wasn’t March Madness, but inside of Wichita Hoops this weekend, the competitive fire wasn’t hard to find.
The NIRSA or National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association held their National Basketball Championships this weekend in the Air Capital.
Antonio Atria and his club team from Ohio State made the long drive to Wichita to compete in the tournament.
“Make sure you have a high caliber team that you are bringing here, or else, it’s a 12 hour drive for nothing, because if you lose your first two games, you go home,” said Atria.
They were one of 82 teams to compete in the NIRSA Championship Series event.
“From Yale all the way to USC, we have unified divisons, which are parterning with the special olympics, with their athletes and partners, and then we have men’s intramurals, women’s intramurals, men’s sports clubs, and women sports clubs,” said Austin Sanderson, tournament director for Wichita’s NIRSA series.
While none of the players on the court are vying to go pro, Sanderson says the games brought a lot of energy.
“It’s fun to watch, we have a lot of competitive teams, but I think the most interesting part is seeing the officials, the officials are really competitive too,” said Sanderson.
In the end, only one team can win in each division.
Myra Lattimore helped seal the deal for her club team from Georgia Tech with a final bucket, with just seconds remaining against UC Davis.
“We had a great group of girls that were committed to coming to practice every week and working towards this goal, so it was really nice to see it payoff this year,” said Lattimore. “I love coming with my team, it’s always a fun time.”
The NIRSA Championship Series will return to Wichita in 2020 and 2021.