Mark Nisly, athletic director of the Reno County Sabres, believes there is a public perception that homeschool athletics are not taken as seriously compared to public school athletics.

And while he admits that homeschools do not pump out the same numbers as public schools, he encourages basketball fans to check out the National Division II Christian Homeschool Association basketball tournament in McPherson and Lindsborg from March 5-7 to see the high level of basketball produced by homeschool athletes.

"There’s lots of good competition and basketball played," Nisly said. "I encourage people to come out and see what the world of homeschool basketball is all about. It’s a legitimate basketball tournament and not just for fun."

The three-day tournament will be on the campuses of McPherson College, Central Christian College of Kansas and Bethany College. In total, there will be 11 divisions for boys and girls in junior high and high school.

Schools from the Midwest will be in attendance. Nisly said the Reno County Sabres have been going to this tournament for more than 20 years.

"The tournament as a whole is a reunion of sorts," Nisly said. "I have built a lot of relationships with other ADs. We see these schools often, and a lot of rivalries have been formed."

Nineteen schools will be in attendance from six different states. Along with the Sabres — who are based in Hutchinson — Colby, Topeka, Tonganoxie, Manhattan, Newton, Salina and Wichita will be representing Kansas.

The tournament’s mission statement is to provide "postseason God glorifying tournaments, cater to teams who want a balanced approach to athletics, and create a less expensive alternative for competitive teams."

"The tournaments are primarily Christian and faith-based. It provides a much better family atmosphere," Nisly said.

The Reno County high school girls basketball team is the favorite to win its division. The Sabre girls were runner-up in the A division the past two years, and enter this year as the No. 1 seed.

The Reno County Sabres are sending five teams: a high school boys, high school girls, two junior high boys and a junior high girls team.

Games begin at 8:30 am. Thursday across the three sites. A complete schedule can be found on the tournament’s home page at