They didn’t have an official team name and had to forfeit a couple of matches after sleeping in Saturday morning, but Chris Church’s team came out on top with a hard-fought win in the men’s finals of East Three School’s annual three-on-three basketball tournament Jan. 12 and 13.
“A lot of guys here helped me out to get me here,” said Church after the final match.
“I couldn’t thank them enough. It’s all about having fun right. It’s really good to have everyone come together as one to play these games. We all appreciate it. We all have fun.”
The men competed in one of five divisions this year, which including women, 15U, 13U and Grades 4-5-6.
“In the end, it’s all about who’s getting that last bucket,” said Church. “Until that buzzer goes off, you don’t know who’s going to win.”
His team, made up of Church, Morgan Sydney and John Francis, moved the ball expertly in the final match.
“We had some good offense going,” said Church. “At the start, we were a little rusty. We got lucky. We started moving together as a team. There were only three guys so it was pretty hard.”
Stephanie Parkes, one of the tournament’s organizers this year, was glad to see Tuktoyaktuk involvement. Unfortunately, Tsiigehtchic had to back out because of the severely cold weather last weekend.
“There were a lot of people out (Friday, Jan. 12),” said Parkes. “People from the community came in. I think all the kids had fun. We didn’t have one problem behaviour-wise or anything. It ran really smoothly.”
Ninety-three players took part in this year’s tournament, making up 28 teams.
The tournament also acted as a fundraiser for the Grade 7 and 8 boys’ basketball team, who will be heading to the Junior Cagers in Yellowknife this February.