Southeast Asian Organization hosts basketball and volleyball tournament

Danielle Klais, Arts & Rec Editor

The Southeast Asian Organization (SAO) hosted their annual basketball and volleyball tournament in the Williams Center on Saturday, March 7 from 8 a.m. until about 9:30 p.m.

With trophies offered to the top three winners of both volleyball and basketball, and free registration for the 2021 annual tournament given to the winning team, the games were very competitive. Teams were composed of players who were all passionate about the sport.

“We ended up attracting a lot more of the community we’re trying to target … This turnout was probably the biggest one that I’ve ever experienced. … This is the first year that I have seen us reach our maximum capacity for teams for all our tournaments,” said the SAO president, Houa Yang.

The tournament had the biggest turnout in years, attracting players of all ages and skill levels, along with family members of the players who cheered on the sidelines.

“I like the challenge because you can’t anticipate a lot of the things that happen,” said volleyball player Nai Vang.

The mission of SAO is to promote unity, culture and education through events and fundraisers, such as selling egg rolls and lock-ins at the Williams Center.

“We are a very inclusive organization and are not limited to just Asians/Southeast Asians. Our organization has a very strong sense of community and inclusion and we encourage everyone to join!” said the SAO website.

SAO meetings take place in the UC on Thursdays at 5:15 p.m. SAO will work with Chi Sigma Tau National Fraternity, Inc. to host their first cultural dinner show, Asian Exploration, with traditional Southeast Asian food and a theme celebrating home on April 11 at 5:30 p.m.

“A lot of people stray away from us because of our name. Southeast Asian. Just know … we’re not inclusive to just Southeast Asian. We want our organization to be as diverse as possible and we just want to bring in that family vibe that we always try to promote, because that’s who we are, and that’s what SAO is all about: being a family away from home,” said Yang.