Hoopsters in Texas should be chomping at the bit right about now. Why might you ask? Because Shamrock Basketball Association is back for another season. SBA founder Ryan Girardot is taking his tournament-style league to new markets this summer, and taking the Texas rec bball world by storm in the process.
Girardot started SBA about 8 years ago in his rural hometown of Forney, TX. As a kid, he ball-boyed for the Dallas Mavericks and got to watch Dirk Nowitzki from up close. Girardot naturally took after Dirk’s game, to the point that strangers regularly call him “Dirk” before the end of many pick-up games!
Motivated by the success of his beloved Mavs, Girardot’s vision was to create a state-wide summer league for various ages, high-schoolers & up. What started as a hobby grew into a full-fledged program quicker than a J. Kidd-led fast-break. Last summer SBA hosted 40 teams in 4 different cities, or “divisions” (Tyler, Levitt, Forney, Dallas). This year Girardot and co. have secured 200 teams and 18 divisions, thanks to new partnerships with gym facilities in Austin, Bryan, & San Antonio to name a few.
At the end of the summer, SBA will invite each of its division leaders to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT in San Antonio, where a Shamrock champion will be crowned. A dunk contest and three-point shootout will also be part of the festivities.
But that’s not it for Girardot, who truly takes the saying Everything’s Big in Texas to heart. “Our players will actually be looked at by all of our local coordinators and the best players will be invited to try out for our Pro-Am tourney representing the All-SBA team, possibly even getting to play with some current and former NBA players.”
Ryan Girardot is pumped to see how this season goes, and plans to one day take SBA to the national level. At this rate, don’t bet against him!