From July 6 through July 18, 25 basketball players ages 17 and 18 will visit Georgia and Alabama for a tour of America and play basketball against American teams.
The visit marks the fifth trip to the United States for Youth Sports Exchange (YSE)-Belgium. YSE-Belgium has partnered with the Tuskegee Flyers for all five years, playing an exhibition game against the local Tuskegee team and returning to their annual Summer Slam Basketball Tournament during their American Tour.
This year’s American tour will include:
•Friday, July 7: Atlanta
•Saturday, July 8: Tuskegee
•Sunday, July 9: Montgomery
•Monday, July 10: Tuscaloosa
•Friday, July 14: Birmingham/Trussville
•Saturday, July 15: Montgomery
•Sunday, July 16: Montgomery
•Monday, July 17: Auburn
Most of the stops on the tour include cultural events such as museums along with basketball action against local teams.
Highlights of the tour include an “International Showcase” (basketball games) in Tuskegee and Montgomery on July 8-9, Tuscaloosa on July 10 and Trussville on July 14.
The highlight of the basketball portion of the trip occurs on July 16 and 17 when the YSE-Belgium Lions attempt to reclaim their title as champions of the Summer Slam Basketball Tournament. YSE Belgium won the tournament in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The tour has grown from one team and a game or two to two teams traveling to the United States and a full-blown tour that is managed by the Executive Director of the Tuskegee Flyers, A.D. Drew.
Drew, along with YSE-Belgium Director of Operations Mark Peeters, have spent many hours planning this tour for the fifth consecutive year.
Peeters’ son, Wesley, attended high school in Alabama at Crenshaw Christian Academy in Luverne. Ironically, Drew refereed the younger Peeters when he played basketball at CCA.
The elder Peeters’ has coordinated the travel of other youth’s to the Central Alabama Region since 2013 and has partnered with Drew, the current Director of Parks & Recreation for Tuskegee since that time.
YSE-Belgium also has another group of teams that visit other areas of the United States during the same time. A boys team and a girls team will visit the St. Louis area.
During the 2017 visit, Drew and Peeters will be meeting with a few selected individuals in the area hoping to expand the programs that they have partnered together on.
An announcement of a fourthcoming program/event may occur during the 2017 visit.
Locally the Belgium group will visit the Tuskegee Airman Museum, Old School Seafood, and then play basketball at the Tuskegee Housing Authority Life Development Center on Benson Ave at 3pm against local talent from BTW and Notasulga High Schools.
For more information about the 2017 tour, please visit the Tuskegee Flyers facebook page or contact Coach A.D. Drew at 334-401-0543.