Blevins will hang it up after 25th Hang the Net Shootout

Blevins will hang it up after 25th Hang the Net Shootout
July 23
00:00 2015

In above photo: Art Blevins started the Hang the Net Celebrity Shootout in 1986 at South Fork Recreation Center. Since the first competition, the tournament, which features local celebrities, has grown. (Photo by Tevin Stinson)

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

They say all good things must come to an end.

On Thursday, July 23, the Hang the Net Celebrity Shootout will come to an official end.

Over the years, a lot has changed in the Winston-Salem area, but one thing that has remained consistent is the annual event held at Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center.

The 3-point shootout and dunk contest started in 1986 when Art Blevins read about a similar contest in Sports Illustrated.

The object of the competition is to make shots from behind the three-point arc and attempt to hang the net on the rim.

To make the contest more interesting, Blevins had the idea to invite local celebrities and basketball stars to shoot in the contest.

According to Blevins, the first shootout only had one local celebrity and about 100 people to attended.

Over the years, the event has grown dramatically to include 12 or more local sponsors, media coverage from three television stations and two local radio stations.

“We have really grown over the years,” Blevins said. “Last year, the event had over 600 people to attend. Considering this is the last one, I believe we will have over 600 this year.”

The list of local celebrities and college basketball stars has grown as well with names such as Wake Forest University (WFU) and NBA star Josh Howard, former UNC Lady Tar Heel Camille Little and former WFU star C.J. Harris, who are all from Winston-Salem.

Last season, Harris really showed his shooting ability, hanging the net multiple times in route to winning the college shootout.

“It’s a great event to get kids out and have some fun,” Harris said. “This is all about the kids.”

Blevins also uses the event to recognize area icons with a Living Legends Award.

The award is given annually to those in the area who have made a major impact in the community.

Past winners include the late Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines and the late Mary Garber.

The best part of the event is that it’s free to public and Blevins makes sure that no child leaves the gym empty handed.

“Our sponsors have been great over the years,” Blevins said. “I try to make sure every kid leaves the gym with something: a T-shirt, a poster or even a snack. We make sure every child is taken care of.”

Blevins said although this will be the last year for the Hang The Net event, he will continue to work in the community and support the youth.

“It’s something I’ve been doing a long time. I started when I was 19. I know I’ll be lost next year,” laughed Blevins. “But it will give me time to focus on my basketball league, and I know I will do something else for the youth before I retire.”

The Hang the Net Celebrity Shootout will begin at 2 p.m. at Hanes Hosiery Recreation Center, 501 Reynolds Blvd.

For more information on the event, contact the center at 336-727-2428.

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