THE CAPTAIN'S CORNER
|JACKSON HOOPS 2002
Written By: Captain JacksonJACKSON HOOPS 2002
by Captain Jackson
After four years of popularity, an annual event for many people in Jackson came to an end. After last year`s Gus Macker 3 on 3 Showdown Basketball Tournament, their sponsors decided they had not made enough of a profit for the games to continue, and therefore did not renew their contract with the organization. But that was not to be the end of the story.
Thanks to Riverwalk Hotel Manager Joe Lang, Daryl`s Downtown entrepreneur Daryl Hoskins and JTV-17 personality Bart Hawley, to name just a few, 3 on 3 basketball showdown competition was on again! Even Gus Macker tournament coordinator Art Finger volunteered his time to kick off what is hoped to be an annual Jackson event.
"This is for all of Jackson," said Joe Lang during the pre-competition get together, "We`re going to keep the equipment right here (in the hotel basement) so we can do it again."
The event ran from Friday, July 12 through Sunday the 14th in the hotel parking lot and on Michigan Avenue between Francis and Mechanic. A pre-game party was held Friday evening. During that time, last minute registrants where able to sign up, bringing the number of teams up to the goal of around 100.
Beginning around 7:00pm, the live entertainment began. Warren, Michigan singer-songwriter Stephanie Hurst was first up, followed by local talented singer-songwriter Sara Hood. They performed to a crowd of around sixty, as a number of competitors honed their skills on the various courts. A bit later, local band Vital Signs took to the stage and played into the night. A number of vendors were also in the process of setting up with a variety of food, including a delicious beef shish kebab selling for only $3.00.
The main competition was held Saturday, beginning at 9:00am and ending around 3:30pm. Afterward, many spectators took to the hoops and enjoyed themselves throughout the afternoon. A young man named Nazir Smith, who stood perhaps forty inches tall and may have been all of six years old, asked this reporter to lower one of the hoops so he could practice. He then proceeded to score basket after basket! Michael Jordan beware. I`m certain he`ll be competing in the coming years.
Saturday was a perfect day with temperatures around eighty degrees. Many of the competitors certainly felt it was a great deal warmer as the majority of the courts were in direct sunlight. No matter, being three on three competition, it was fast and furious, with talent seldom seen even in a professional game.
The final playoffs began Sunday morning and ran into the early afternoon. When it was all over, the Lamda team, or as their manager stated: "Lamda, Lamda and Lamda", where the overall winners, receiving a $500 check and some very nice trophies. By that time everyone was tired but the majority of people stayed around to see the competition winners receive their awards.
If you love basketball, seeing this type of play is something you shouldn`t miss. And the way things look, this will be an annual event!
To see pictures of this event, go to: Jackson Hoops Association and Click: PHOTO GALLERY.
Copyright 2002, CFC
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