College sports is a big deal, both socially and financially, and every city longs to host the finals of the basketball season. This year the NCAA Women’s Final Four was held in Columbus, and as with all major sporting events now they have a festival to accompany the games.
One of the highlights for this weekend was an event called ‘Bounce’, which gives thousands of kids a free basketball and T Shirt and allows them to dribble along the street next to Nationwide Arena up to the Convention Center where there was a number of activities for them (as well as adults).
To coordinate such an event takes lots of volunteers, who all seemed to be having as much fun as the kids.
But eventually they were set loose – the sound of basketballs dribbling reverberating off the buildings.
The little ones even maintained their focus.
Soon the street was filled with the kids and their parents.
Once they reached the convention center there were unique skills tests waiting for them.
A highly energetic host lead a game of ‘basketball musical chairs’, requiring them to dribble around the circle in the middle of the court – when the music stopped they had to run down, make a basket and head back. Easily the host was the most amusing part of the day.
I am not certain the city makes the money back they invest in the games, but it does draw some attention to the city, for a few days at least.