For the fourth year in a row, J. L. Crowe leadership students are studiously seeking hoopsters for Heat in the Street’s three-on-three basketball tournament.
As part of Silver City Days festivities, the Kootenay Savings Credit Union sponsored tournament is held over two days and is one of the more active and entertaining venues.
While the basketball tournament has only about a dozen teams signed up, the organizers are anything but worried.
“Usually they all kind of sign-up at once, everyone waits until the last minute and even past the last minute,” said student organizer Beth Yorston.
The round-robin format hosts teams in recreation and competitive adult, high school and elementary categories.
“We’d always been around 30 teams but we’d like to be in the 40 region,” said teacher Terry Jones, “It’s just easier for scheduling.”
The tournament’s hard court is outside on Farwell Street in front of Kootenay Savings with many games going on at once generating heated action.
“It’s all about the atmosphere, you have six or seven basketball courts, it’s downtown, there’s people all around, music going, it’s great,” he said.
The leadership students also hope to get area businesses to participate, in the spirit of healthy and fun competition.
“We try and get more rec teams, like Kootenay Savings and our school (teachers) put in some rec team, so it would be nice to see a Trail Times team or a radio team – the rec is for fun.”
Student organizer Tessa Rieberger agrees adding, “The rec adult teams is definitely not competitive at all. If you are going into rec you’re not concerned about winning.”
However, the competitive spirit is also apparent as teams from around the Kootenays and the U.S. journey north for the tip-off against their Canadian counter parts.
But in the end it’s all about participating, playing and having fun, said Jones.
The greatest obstacle the organizers faced last year was that people ignored the no-parking signs and parked on the street prior to the games so this year they hope to have barriers.
The half court games are 20 minutes long or the first team to 21 points.
The pace is frantic and up to four people is allowed on a team but the rules are flexible.
The games start on Friday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. and go all day Saturday with prizes awarded to the winners.
The entry fee is $25 per person or $100 per team. Youth teams are $80 per team.
To sign up go to the J. L. Crowe website at jlcrowe.org and download the registration form. Deadline for registration is May, 1.