Oakland has a long record of producing college and professional basketball players who started out and their craft at the gyms and parks in the city.
These players have ranged from NBA greats like Bill Russell, Paul Silas and Jim Ellis, to more recent stars like Gary Payton, Greg Foster, Brian Shaw, Antonio Davis and Jason Kidd.
Oakland basketball will be on display at the upcoming West Oakland three-on-three tournament, August 16th from 11 am to 3:30 p.m., at Lowell Park, 1098 12th St.
The tournament is open to individuals or teams ranging in age groups of 8-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. The competition is hosted by local churches Antioch Baptist, Beth Eden Baptist, Bethlehem Lutheran, Greater Cooper AME Zion, Pleasant Grove Baptist and Taylor United Memorial Methodist.
“This is the third year in a row we have been doing this free three-on-three tournament,” said Calvin Andrews, a sports agent with BDA Sports and a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. “Anyone can participate, and we are giving away trophies to the participants.”
There will be food and drinks for children, and the competition is open to young people from all over the Bay Area.
The original idea for the tournament came from Pastor Linda Boston of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, according to Andrews.
“Pastor Boston came to me with the idea of doing a youth activity through the church through the use of basketball,” said Andrews. “At the time, I told her that I was very busy and I didn’t have the time to help organize it. But she stressed to me that this was a vehicle from God to help people come together.”
Since it began, the tournament has grown bigger and bigger.
“This is a good event for West Oakland,” continued Andrews. “We just need to help get the word out and get more teams and kids involved. We need to get more kids active and involved and the more that things like this happen, the better.”
For information call (510) 452-2245, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.westoakland3on3.eventzilla.net