The only thing burning hotter than the sun over downtown Hermiston over the weekend was the passion for basketball.

More than 150 teams from across the Pacific Northwest competed from sunrise to sunset in 90-degrees-and-sunny temperatures in the city’s annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, known as Takin’ It to the Streets. This year marked the 14th year that Hermiston’s Main Street has hosted the competition, where teams compete against one another in 20 different brackets depending on age and skill level, and winners are awarded with assorted athletic gear.

Funds raised over the course of the weekend are then used to support Hermiston High School’s basketball programs.

“We had teams come from all over the region this year,” said tournament organizer Juan Rodriguez. “Some came from as far as Portland, Spokane, and even Boise.”

Rodriguez, also in the midst of his third year as Hermiston High School’s varsity girls head coach, says that basketball is part of the community.

“We keep this tournament going because we love the game,” he said.

And judging by the turnout, he’s right. Main Street was packed day in and day out with players, fans, friends, and family. Ages of the athletes ranged from adults and all the way down to the second grade, and even included players from Hermiston High, hoping to keep their skills in tune during the offseason.

Xavier Rambo, a 2017 Hermiston boys basketball alumnus, has been Takin’ It to the Streets every summer since he was in elementary school.

“It’s tradition,” he said. “You get the same squad together every year and you get to play basketball with your best friends.”

Rambo’s team, Purosho, could be spotted sporting custom grey jerseys with the team’s logo printed on it. Purosho ended up taking home the championship titles for both the 12th Grade Boys and Men’s 6-feet-and-under divisions.

“We’ll be back next year,” he said. “There ain’t no stopping us now.”

Perhaps the most heated of games came in the Men’s Open championship rounds on Sunday.

The division is often comprised of former high school and college athletes, all of whom bring their burning competitive spirits to the courts.

The division title was ultimately claimed by Fox Harvesting after an intense 30-minute game and a close score of 15-13.

“We’ve done this every year since it started,” said Brad Irwin of Fox Harvesting.

Irwin, 27, along with teammates J.J. Ross and Luis and Alex Ortiz, met through eighth grade basketball, and have been playing together ever since. Nowadays, Irwin spends a lot of his time working at Columbia Auto Body & Paint, but still finds the time to get his friends together to shoot some hoops.

“We love this sport, and we can’t get enough,” he said. “We’re going to keep going until we’re 40.”

————

CHAMPIONS:

2nd/3rd Grade Boys: 509 Ballerz 3B

4th Grade Boys: Hermiston Savage

5th Grade Boys: Defenders

6th Grade Boys: Hustle Hoops

7th Grade Boys: The Nicks

8th Grade Boys: Natural Born Ballers

9th Grade Boys: Excelerators

10th/11th Grade Boys: $KEETERZ

12th Grade Boys: Purosho

3rd/4th Grade Girls: Baby Braves

5th Grade Girls: Lower Valley Ladies

6th Grade Girls: Prosser Elite

7th Grade Girls: Fast and Furious

High School Girls: 509 Ballers

Adult Co-Ed: LOB

Men’s 6U Rec #1: Killer 3’s

Men’s 6U Rec #2: Team Loaded

6U Competitive: Purosho

Men’s Rec: ASAP

Men’s Open: Fox Harvesting

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.