A youth girls basketball tournament recently reminded me how much progress the Clinton community has undergone over the last several years.
The Little Queens Basketball Club hosted a third-through-seventh grade basketball tournament, welcoming in 34 teams from several towns in eastern Iowa, stretching from the Gateway area to Cedar Rapids. COVID protocols reduced the number of spectators allowed to enjoy the festivities, but for a first-time event, everything ran smooth.
However, it wasn’t the play on the court or the many signs reminding visitors to social distance that caught most of the attention of spectators. Instead, it was Clinton Middle School and Eagle Heights that garnered the most attention, with an overwhelming amount of praise heaped on the facilities.
Many people, whether from Camanche or DeWitt, or as far away as Dubuque, remarked how impressed they were with the middle school and Eagle Heights, the two locations where the tournament was played. Many of them had traveled to Clinton years ago, and participated in a school function or athletic event at a different facility. They were expecting something very different, and instead, were treated to high-level facilities that they will talk about with neighbors and friends in their current towns.
It was an eye-opener, not just for the visitors, but also for me and many of the Clintonians participating in the tournament. Oftentimes, we don’t necessarily see the changes that have happened over the years. As we’re seeing over and over again in the last several years, though, many people from outside this community are noticing progress and opportunities. Just take a look at the different housing developments that have been (and are currently being) erected to see how visitors are seeing Clinton today.
This tournament was another reminder that Clinton is making progress right in front of our eyes. Visitors are noticing, so it’s time we start recognizing it, too.
Scott Levine, Clinton