Hoop dreams became reality over the weekend.
On Saturday August 27 – Team Vizcarra bested 15 other teams to take home the inaugural championship of the 3 on 3 B-ball by the Beach Basketball tournament, hosted by the Town of Sylvan Lake. Team Vizcarra bested Team MacIsaac after both teams survived a round-robin tournament, followed by a single-game elimination playoff, in which 12 out of the 15 teams competed.
The outdoor basketball weekend on Lakeshore Drive went as planned, despite the slight interference of mother nature according to Jordan Naturkach, Program Coordinator for the Town of Sylvan Lake’s Recreation and Culture Department.
“Everything went smoothly and it was awesome to have it front and center on Lakeshore Drive,” explained Naturkach. “Everyone was happy with the tournament and was already asking about next year.”
The tournament was an experiment in shutting down local traffic on Lakeshore Drive and having the athletes hoop right on the street – with three courts situated in front of the restaurants on the strip. There was some concern on how a traffic shutdown would affect local business, however, everyone was on board according to Naturkach.
The tournament was also a success amongst the basketball players.
“Lots of positive feedback,” Naturkach said. “Everyone was excited to play 3 on 3 in Central Alberta and the environment of being right on the road put us front and center.
“There was also some feedback on how things could be improved and I will definitely take that feedback, do some evaluation and make it bigger and better for next year.”
Some of the minor changes that could be in store for next year are some rule changes, court setup and some slight schedule change, however most changes will be small ones as this year was definitely a success according to Naturkach.
The one-day format of the tournament also protected the players from incremental weather, something that was threatening all afternoon on Saturday.
“We weren’t too worried about having to cancel,” Naturkach said. “If it was bad weather we were going to do the tournament on Sunday – we made the tournament one-day in order to accommodate a possible schedule change.
“We finished it on the day and teams were very flexible with getting their games in,” he added.
Naturkach added that he would like to thank all the players, volunteers and restaurants on Lakeshore Drive.
“I know the road closure can take away from business, but everyone seemed to be on board with it,” Naturkach said. “Hopefully next year we can continue to make it a success – bigger and better.”