There aren't too many people working to create events that bring people to Mexico and thus bringing with them the influx to the local economy other communities regularly get for doing exactly that.
There is Tyronn Lue and everything he done the past two years to make sure the Tyronn Lue Classic becomes an annual event, and both of Mexico's Varsity Head Basketball Coaches, Ed Costley and Darren Pappas, have been right there with him doing everything they can to be sure things go right. Both of those Round Robins have been exactly what we need and it comes at just the right time.
That's because the Ty Lue Classic happens around Christmas-time when we could all use everything this event has to offer, be it the fun and good time of quality basketball or simply a distraction from what ails you.
The other, slightly newer event to come to Mexico and bring with it the associated commerce that all of our gymnasiums create by drawing people in by way of full-court basketball action are the summertime Licking Camps that just came through town for the second summer in-a-row. The format for these events includes even competition, meaning JV teams play JV teams, varsity plays varsity and so on. It makes no sense for squads to spend all day winning or losing by a lot. No lessons are learned.
On the flip side of all of that, the initial reason the Licking Camps came to Mexico is because of the impassioned plea Costley made in regards to all the support they'd find in our town. The reason they returned is because of just how true those words turned out to be.
"We have a really good fan base. Southern Boone travels well, but our community also likes to get out and watch sporting events in the gyms and facilities we have available," said Costley. "I think that brings people out. That was exciting to us. We feel we have a lot of great facilities here in Mexico. With these teams coming from out-of-state, we really feel like that brought people in and helped people spend money here on our community. I think we had a couple schools get hotel rooms."
Just like last year, not only was coach Pappas as involved as he could be with this event, so were plenty of other people. For example, former Lady Bulldog Adria Costley was working at a scorers table, Bulldogs Varsity Assistant Boys Coach Deion Nunnelly was working with her last Thursday morning until other duties forced him to go and coach a game and former Mexico Athletic Director Jeff Anderson was employed as a referee.
"That's money that's coming into the community ans that's what we were looking at in the grand scheme of things. We'd like to see it get bigger," Costley said. "There's Missouri Military Academy. I've talked a little bit before in the past with Tyronn (Lue) about having a college exposure shootout and using MMA's gym. Perhaps we can get to that point. Who knows. Maybe that will happen. It would be a big picture thing."