West to Host Schnurr Basketball Tournament in its Final Year

By Chris Nano

Eight teams will compete in the Kurland-Schnurr Basketball Tournament this year at St. Patrick’s High School and Niles West during Thanksgiving break (Nov. 23-25).

According to athletic director, Kendall Griffin, this will be the final year that the tournament will be played at Niles West. The Schnurr tournament has been going on for 35 years. It was originally named after Bill Schnurr who was a coach for Niles West.

“The tournament used to be a big tournament, but the attendance has dropped over the years,” Griffin said. “I think the main reasons for the attendance dropping is because there are more Thanksgiving tournaments now than in the past, thus giving schools more options. We are no longer able to attract top-level teams, and fans and families are traveling during the holidays and have more obligations these days.”

Head coach Bob Williams said he was aware that this will be the last year that the tournament will be played at Niles West High School.

“The tournament has a great history and it is unfortunate that circumstances have made it difficult to run a quality tournament,” Williams said.

The bulk of this year’s tournament will be played at Niles West, but the championship game will be played at St. Pat’s.

The event is a round robin that will include Niles West, Hersey, Glenbrook North, and Kelvyn Park High School. These teams will start playing at Niles West first. At St. Pat’s it will be St. Pat’s, DeLaSalle, Providence St. Mel and Urban Prep Englewood.

The staff seemed to be confident about their chances of winning the tournament.

“I believe that we will be well-prepared for the Schnurr tournament as our players are working diligently to get ready.  We have a chance to win the tournament if we play solid defense and take care of the basketball.  One area of emphasis for our team is rebounding as we do not have great team size,Williams said.

The players agreed.

“I think we’re going to be better than we were last year. There are some good teams in the tournament, but I know how good we are this season, so I don’t see why we can’t win it. We’ve got a lot of trust in each other and I think that helps” senior Myreon Flowers said.