With a tip of the campus cap to the co-occurring NBA playoffs, the Spring into Health 3-on-3 on campus basketball tournament had just about everything you’d want from a championship game—tenacious defense, running bank shots and a plethora of high-post moves that even Oklahoma City Thunder big man Kevin Durant might envy. Clear skies and 80-degree weather only heightened the competitive spirit of play.
The tournament, now an annual ritual at NIH, was held May 30-31 at the Sport Court next to the Clinical Center. Twenty teams participated in the single-elimination affair.
Rules for the refereed 15-minute contests were basic. The ball was tossed in at half court. Fouls were called but no free throws were given until a team had reached 10 fouls. In addition, each squad was required to have at least one female playing at all times. Teams were allowed several reserve players who could enter the game at any time.
The hotly contested championship match, held May 31, featured TakeOver, last year’s champions, and the East-West Ballers. The game came down to the final seconds, with the Ballers eking out an 18-16 win.
|The East-West Ballers include (from l) Mike Tate, Mikaela Robinson, Greg Fourqurean, Darryl Gibson, Chauncey Buford and James Rowe.
Anyone who “shoots the rock” knows that defense often wins games. “That’s pretty much what led us to victory—the key was definitely our defensive effort,” said Mikaela Robinson, who scored 6 points in the contest. A staffer with Patient Escort Services in the Clinical Center, Robinson, who “hawked” her opposition throughout the series, noted that the competition this year was very good, which dictated the need for tight “D.”
Members of the Ballers also include captain/coach James Rowe, Greg Fourqurean, Darryl Gibson, Chauncey Buford and Mike Tate.
The tournament was sponsored by the Office of AIDS Research, with support from the Office of the NIH Director, the Office of Research Services and its Division of Amenities and Transportation Services. It was a component of the Spring into Health Initiative, a month-long series of wellness activities.—Jan Ehrman