Youth basketball: Wild Turkey Shootout back for another year

DOUG WOLTER WORTHINGTON -- One of Worthington's most enduring family affairs will get under way this weekend in gymnasiums all over town. It's the annual Wild Turkey Shootout, a boys basketball extravaganza. "You have grandpa, ...



WORTHINGTON -- One of Worthington’s most enduring family affairs will get under way this weekend in gymnasiums all over town.

It’s the annual Wild Turkey Shootout, a boys basketball extravaganza.


“You have grandpa, grandma, moms and dads, and brothers and sisters who come and watch them play,” said event organizer Bruce Viessman on Thursday.

This year marks the 32nd year of the tournament. There are 49 teams signed up to participate, which measures out to about 500 kids.

Teams representing three states will include Jackson, Luverne, West Central, Rock Valley, St. James, Harris-Lake Park, Sibley, Pipestone, Tea, Montrose, Hills-Beaver Creek, Spirit Lake, Brandon, Ellsworth, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Martin County, Murray County Central and, of course, Worthington.

The basketballs will be flying beginning at 8 a.m. in Worthington at various gymnasiums, including Worthington High School, Worthington Middle School, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington Area YMCA, the American Reformed Church and Worthington Christian School.

Games will be continuous, with the last games at some gyms beginning at 5 p.m. Referees in the higher grades are certified.

Viessman, chair of the Sports and Recreation committee of the Worthington Convention and Visitors Bureau, said work on the Shootout begins in October. Dedicated volunteers -- gym captains, ticket takers, scorers and timers -- make the event a success. Proceeds are poured back into the community to advance other sporting activities.

“Our new initiative is to support sports events in town,” Viessman said. “We give money to the hockey association, and we support baseball tournaments for the expenses of running the events.”


Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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