History of the Tournament
In 2007, Kyle had the idea of putting together a tournament for his required senior project at South Medford High School. But he also wanted to do an event that would be ongoing in the Medford community. This was his way of giving back to a community that has been so supportive of him. With the help of Tom Cole, Executive Director of Kids Unlimited, Kyle got his project off the ground. In addition to a few sleepless nights in his first year, the tournament garnered 19 teams from around Southern Oregon and Northern California.
The total revenue generated this first year was $1,000, which all went to Kids Unlimited. After the inaugural tournament, Kyle enlisted the help of his parents, Ed and Kris Singler, to help keep this tournament growing and expanding. With the continued support of Tom Cole, his staff, the Singlers working together, and the numerous volunteers that lend a strong hand, the tournament has grown in both participation and financial support to Kids Unlimited over the past 16 years.
The 2019 event brought 200 teams from all over Oregon and Northern California. Funds generated from local sponsors to help support this event are making a substantial impact on the programming offered at Kids Unlimited and are having a tremendous economic boost to the local community. Though not official, it is estimated that the total financial impact of the 2019 event was about $750,000 to the Medford community. This event is now poised to be this area’s premier basketball event for years.
In 2022, the Singler Open was rebranded as the Southern Oregon Open. Despite the two-year pause due to Covid, the participation and outcome of the tournament were better than the event could have hoped. Bright hopes remain intact for what the continued legacy of the tournament still provides. Part of Kyle’s goal for this tournament was to make it different and very unique from other AAU tournaments these kids already play in. Here are some things that have been or are offered to make the weekend so memorable for the kids:
- Each participant gets a free t-shirt. In the past, each t-shirt design was created by Kyle himself. The design usually reflected what Kyle was doing at the time. Today, t-shirts are designed by the Kids Unlimited community.
- An event is offered each year during the tournament. In the past, EJ Singler, Kyle’s brother, provided basketball-related events such as skills competitions for the kids or a clinic format where EJ discussed and performed drills that made him an Oregon Duck great. This year, we are bringing back the T-Mobile free throw contest.