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Numbers continue to rise at ShoWare Shootout | BASKETBALL
Basketball fans came from around the state July 30-31 to the parking lot of the ShoWare Center for a hoop festival that is here to stay.
In its second year, the ShoWare Shootout increased by 16 teams and more than 60 players in an event that is tabbed as South King County’s premier 3-on-3 basketball showcase.
And, unlike last summer, when the tournament was held in August, the sun finally arrived.
“We hit the high ’70s,” said tournament promoter Steve Turcotte, who got the event off the ground last summer. “It got a little drizzly on Sunday (July 31), but the weather was better than last year.”
The 3-on-3 ShoWare Shootout follows the blueprint established by the Spokane Hoopfest, which take place at the end of June each year and draws more than 5,000 teams and 25,000 players from around the nation. In the inaugural year of the ShoWare Shootout, 140 teams took part in the 16-division format.
This year, 156 teams and 575 players comprised the 16 divisions, numbers that are a slight bump from a year ago.
The goal is for the event to continue to grow in size and popularity, Turcotte said.
“I was kind of hoping for 170 teams, but you never know what you’re going to get,” he said. “I would like to get 200 teams, that would is our goal for next year. The biggest goal for me is to put on an event where people come and say it’s worth their time, and that they got something out of the weekend.”
The tournament included age divisions for men, women, seniors, kids and wheelchair participants. Games were run throughout the day and into the night of the two-day event on 25 separate courts.
With focus already turned to next summer’s event, adjustments to the rules are on the horizon.
“We got to tweak the rules every year, and we’ll have to tweak them next year,” Turcotte said. “There are always things to look at to make it better. Next year, when players are fouled on a 3-point shot, they will receive two attempts (at the free-throw line) instead of one.”
For Kentridge High products Aaron Abrams and Alex Barth, who teamed up with friends Alex Fromm and Taylor Cambell to form the Hood Swag squad, a title chase was believed to be in the making. Barth and Abrams took part in the tournament the first year and posted a 1-2 record. Barth recruited Fromm and Cambell, both of whom are 6-6, and expected the generous size of the two new teammates to pay immediate dividends.
The plan, however, didn’t go as expected as Hood Swag posted a 1-2 record this summer as well.
“It didn’t go nearly as well as we wanted,” Abrams lamented. “The first game, we just took too many jump shots. We had high expectations and we ended up going 1-2.
“We lost to teams that we could have beat, we just needed to play together more. There was a lot of 1-on-1 stuff.”
Despite the end result, the weather reversal from a year ago proved beneficial, Abrams noted.
“Rather than raining the two days, it was pretty nice,” he said. “It definitely helped. My first step was a lot better this time rather than slipping. This time, I could get to the rim at will, do some driving and dishing. That’s my game instead of having to shoot myself out of a funk.”
The potential for the ShoWare Shootout remains limitless.
“It’s slowly expanding,” Abrams said. “If they’re trying to make it close to Hoopfest, there’s room to grow. I think they need to put in (new) backboards instead of the plastic ones that are used. These rims were really wobbly, but I think (officials) are still learning the process.”
Either way, one thing remains certain ...
“We’re going to practice before next year’s tournament,” Abrams said. “We’ll be back, that’s for sure.”
SHOWARE SHOOTOUT RESULTS
Top-two teams in each division
DIVISION FIRST SECOND
Wheelchair OG’s Misfits
4th/5th girls We Got Style NW Magic 5
6th girls Lady Mambas SYRF 5 Lady Vikings
7th girls Transition X-Press Purple Swag
8th girls Girls Plz Four Funky Monkeys
HS girls Fearsome Foursome Auburn
Co-ed Big Bad Bold Fin. Chocolate Wonton
3rd/4th boys Starquest Sno Valley Dawgs
5th boys NW Panthers Triple Threat
6th boys The Truth And 1
7th boys Big Ballerz Elite Four Ballers
8th boys Dy Nasty Boyz of Troy
9th boys Spartans Ballers 4 Life
HS boys Best of Basketball Sons of Kings
Men’s Rec. 1 Hoop Hearted Finao Chocolate
Men’s Rec. 2 Seattle’s Fab Four Oly Reign
Men’s Elite Light Skins Don’t Hate