Community Gathers for Second Annual Will Starks Day Basketball Tournament

The event raises money for the Starks Academy basketball camp later this month.

DULUTH, Minn. – Former Duluth East basketball coach Will Starks passed away in 2015, and shortly after, former Duluth mayor Don Ness declared July Will Starks day. His passion for youth basketball continued on Tuesday with the second annual Will Starks day tournament.

The 4 on 4 tournament is organized by his son Dyami, who hopes to honor and continue his dad’s legacy for basketball and helping kids who need it.

“There was a large generation of kids that ended up not only earning scholarships and going to college but getting out of this area. And whether you stay in this area or not, it’s really not a big deal, but my father instilled that confidence in a lot of kids, and a lot of adults. Continuing his legacy is a real easy thing and I’m glad to do it,” Dyami Starks said.

“First of all, it’s to honor Will Starks, who absolutely loved kids and did so much and sacrificed so much. Sadly he passed away at an early age, but he cared about the kids, particularly the kids in the Central and East Hillside area,” Northland Youth Baseball Alliance board member and former Duluth mayor Gary Doty said.

Dyami started the Starks Academy, which is a camp that works to help underprivileged youth in the Northland, a goal that Will Starks constantly worked towards.

They’ll be hosting a Minnesota Timberwolves camp at the end of the month and Tuesday’s event raised money to allow more kids to attend that camp.

“Our main thing is just driving up the culture. And we try to go as low as possible. We have a multi–day camp that’s only $120 and typically those rates go up to $250 or $300 down in the cities and the metropolitan areas. We try to get that price as low as possible, we wanted to introduce the Timberwolves back in the Northland, we wanted to hit it with a bang, make a big splash up here. We want to get 150–200 kids there if we can,” Starks said.

If you would like to sign up for the camp, head to the Starks Academy website. 

Categories: High School, Sports