SW DeKalb Lady Panthers seek funds for national tournament tripPhoto by Ken Watts
Southwest DeKalb High School’s Class AAAAA State Champion Lady Panthers basketball team is scrambling to raise $4,000 by December 15 to pay for a trip to the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 19-21.
Since receiving the invitation to participate in the Nike Tournament of Champions, the team has been diligently raising the funds needed to make the trip. However, the team is $4,000 short of what they need to cover hotel rooms for the 20 players plus coaching staff who will make the trip. So they’re putting out an urgent call for donations.
Coach Kathleen Richey-Walton said the invitation is an important signal that the Lady Panthers are rising to national prominence. She calls it a tremendous compliment to the Southwest DeKalb girls basketball program.
“We’re ranked 23rd out of all high school teams in the U.S. and we’ll be playing other nationally ranked teams at the tournament,” Richey-Walton noted. “I’ve been trying to get us into the Nike competition ever since I started here in 2002.”
SWD joins Collins Hill and Columbia among elite metro Atlanta high school teams to score invitations to the Nike Tournament.
Richey-Walton has become a legendary coach in Georgia and around the nation. Since her arrival at Southwest DeKalb in 2002, the school has posted a 224-70 record and her former players are on teams at major colleges including the University of Florida, the University of Oregon, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M and many more.