Players being creative with team names, uniforms as Silverdale Shoot-Out approaches

2010 Bremerton High School grad Jarell Flora goes up for a dunk against an opponent from Port Angeles during the 2009 Silverdale Shoot-Out. - Wesley Remmer/file photo
2010 Bremerton High School grad Jarell Flora goes up for a dunk against an opponent from Port Angeles during the 2009 Silverdale Shoot-Out.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/file photo

It was late in the game, the score tied, and the referee issued a technical foul to someone wearing knee-high pink “Hello Kitty” socks.

Not that it mattered in the end to Andre Coleman and his three teammates wearing their socks high and bright on The Goooon Squad. They came back to beat the opposing team from Port Angeles, going on to win the championship in the high school boys division at the 2009 Silverdale Shoot-Out.

“It was intense,” said Coleman, who will participate in the tournament again. “Things started getting serious.”

The 2010 Shoot-Out will feature more wacky uniforms and bizarre team names as players of all ages and skills compete Aug. 21-22 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel.

Coleman, a senior-to-be at Bremerton High School, will team up with Trent Gallagher of Olympic High School, 2010 Central Kitsap High School grad Michael Gurske and 2009 Bremerton grad J’Tonn Dale. Dale is the lone newcomer to the team, replacing 2010 Bremerton grad Jarell Flora, who will play at Seattle University next season.

The quartet will play in the adult competitive bracket, one of the many divisions offered to tournament participants. They had yet to finalize their team name, or agree on a look for the uniforms, as of Tuesday.

“We might have to surprise some people,” Gurske said, laughing.

This will be the fourth installment of the three-on-three tournament, with the money raised going to the All as One Foundation, which provides aid for children in Sierra Leone, the Boys and Girls Club of South Puget Sound, the Kitsap Literacy Council and the Kitsap Food Bank.

All games are played on a half-court, with three players per side. Teams are allowed one substitute.

The half-court setup makes for a different style of play because there is less space to use and fewer players with whom to share the space. Rather than having 92 feet from baseline to baseline in which to set up offensive plays, players must adjust to tighter quarters. For some, it’s a welcome break.

“I like it,” said Coleman, who had never played an official three-on-three tournament prior to 2009. “There are more chances to go one-on-one.”

Going on-one-one is ideal for Coleman, a lanky 6-foot-2-inch shooter who was a key contributor on Bremerton’s 2009-10 state-tournament team.

But for others, like Gurske, the smaller court poses challenges.

At 5 feet, 9 inches, the speedy Gurske is best when running up and down the court, creating scoring opportunities for his teammates by outrunning the opponent and making accurate passes in open space.

His options will be limited on the crammed court.

“With five-on-five, full-court the flow is at a higher speed,” Gurske said. “You have to be a good shooter in the half-court game.”

The 2009 event attracted nearly 300 players, some coming from Tacoma and as far as Port Angeles. Turnout has grown each year, the number of teams climbing from 32 in 2007 to 46 in 2008 to 70 last year.

Former Seattle SuperSonics center James Donaldson, a Washington State University grad who played in the NBA from 1979 to 1995, will be the featured guest at the Shoot-Out.

There will be recreational and competitive divisions, with brackets for adults down to high school-age players. Teams will be paired based on skill level and age.

And in addition to a tournament-style format that guarantees each team at least two games, the Shoot-out will feature slam dunk and three-point contests and prizes for the winners. Those competitions will be held Saturday.

“I had a good time last year,” said Gurske, who was steeped in the formalities of varsity basketball and plans to play at Olympic College. “It’s mainly just a fun thing.”

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