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3-on-3 hoops tournament shoots to be bigger, better
Goal is to get 150-200 teams to turn out for basketball action.
Nathan Uffens is no stranger to the hardwood.
The 31-year-old director of sales for the Silverdale Beach Hotel grew up as a court rat like any other in Southern California, remembering the courts of Venice Beach and the like fondly.
“Growing up in Southern California, there’s a basketball hoop every other block,” Uffens said. “We were always playing pick-up games, street ball. Just all day long on those courts.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to bring here.”
Now Uffens is making the most of the opportunity, helping organize the second annual 3-on-3 Silverdale Shoot-Out.
“It’s growing every year,” he said.
With more than 40 teams turning out last year despite rainy conditions for the outdoor tourney, which the hotel hosts, Uffens said organizers are trying to get 150-200 teams for this year’s.
“Registration is coming along,” he said. “We’re probably at the same point we were at last year. There’s tons of interest.”
While the weather didn’t help last year’s tourney, this year, early forecasts for the Aug. 30-31 event call for mid-70s temperatures.
Combined with a large outreach effort, including trips to Seattle and to Hoopfest, a tourney which gathers more than 6,500 teams across 40 blocks of downtown Spokane, Uffens said he hopes the word is getting out on Kitsap’s own upstart tourney.
“We’ve been out kind of pounding the pavement, hitting all the different community centers,” he said, adding that results of those efforts are already looking positive. “We’ve seen quite a few teams from Kent,” Uffens said. “We’ve got teams from Port Angeles coming, from Port Townsend.”
This year, thanks to a partnership with the Seattle Storm, the Silverdale Shoot-Out will have more courts for more action across its recreational and competitive divisions.
Recreation divisions will be broken up by age for those 18 and older. Younger competitors will compete based on their school grade.
An adult division, high school varsity division and a ninth-grade division will make up the competitive division. Men’s and women’s splits, as well as co-ed, will form as well within those general frameworks.
Teams will be bracketed after a thorough analysis of each entry form to most appropriate place the varying skill levels, Uffens said.
“We really look and try to put everybody (on a similar level) with each other,” he said. “I think last year we did pretty well.”
While Uffens himself competed in the tourney he helped start last year, he said this year, unless a situation arises where an extra team is needed, he plans on simply watching the action unfold.
“Participating in it and organizing it are two entirely different beasts,” he said.
Still, thanks to the successes — and flaws — of the first year, Uffens said he’s excited to see what this year’s tourney has in store. Now, the tourney has an eight-member committee to help run the show. Also, Heartland Scion and Dannon are the presenting sponsors.
“The big thing is really just organizationally, we’ve grown quite a bit,” Uffens said. “Last year it was myself and one or two other people putting it on. Now we have a committee of eight people.”
But perhaps the largest change is in the funds. The tournament, which costs between $75 and $110 per team, is now a benefit tourney as well. In its first year, no one was quite sure what to expect, so the group simply focused on covering operating costs.
“Now we’ve gotten quite a bit,” Uffens said. “Now we can have that part of the process going back into the community.”
As a result, some of the proceeds from this year’s event will help benefit the Central Kitsap Food Bank, the Navy Wives Club and United Way of Kitsap County.
“That was the purpose behind it somewhat from the beginning,” Uffens said. “It’s not just to play two days worth of basketball. We really want the community to embrace this. Part of that is giving back.”
If the group can get enough teams out, more than 400 games could hit the waterfront at the hotel. But in addition to the hoops action, food, booths and other family oriented activities also will be on hand.
“It’s gonna be a great weekend,” Uffens said.
Registrations are accepted up to the day of the event based on availability.
To register, or for more information about the tournament, visit www.silverdaleshootout.com.