'Streets' tourney ready to re-take downtown area

Justin MacKay of La Grande dunks the ball in the slam dunk contest during the first “Takin’ it to the Streets 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in 2006. File photo

Basketball players from around the Northwest will take their game to the streets of Hermiston the weekend of July 19-20 at the Columbia River Bank Takin' it to the Streets 3-on-3 Tournament.

In its third year, the Main Street tournament will have its widest age range of players ever with a third- and fourth-grade bracket added to the robust selection of classifications.

While the adult male demographic is the most popular, tournament director Larry Usher said there always are teams of the youth, women's, recreational and co-ed varieties.

Teams may have a maximum of four players, games will be played to 20 points or 25 minutes and referees will officiate youth and elite games.

The registration deadline is Friday and, while Usher said the planning board always does what it can to get every team into the tournament, it is increasingly difficult after the cut-off.

Last year 139 teams participated in the two-day event, and even if high gas prices or the summer heat keep the numbers down, "it's not going to hurt the atmosphere," Usher said. The number of registered participants is on a similar pace.

Along with 3-on-3 games to 20 points will be the Swain Automotive Group's On the Mark 3-point Shootout and the Bellinger Farms Slam Dunk Contest.

Registration forms are available at area businesses and also can be found online at www.hermiston3on3.org.

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