1st edition Houston Streetball 4v4 tournament

The first edition of our tournament was a success.   It happened this Saturday, February 13th at Charlton Park.  Rudy Ortega did everything possible to go ahead and made sure we were able to get people interested and share the event all over facebook and word of mouth.  8 teams registered and over 64+ players competed in fierce competition in trying to win the grand prize of $500 dollars.

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Our referees.

Every legitimate basketball tournament needs referees and a big shout out goes out to Adrian Valenzuela and Philip Ethridge who took time out of their day to officiate all the matches. They even came outfitted in official referee attire complete with whistles. There were many heated moments in games, but thanks to these guys, they kept everything under control.

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Scorekeepers.

Another big shout out goes out to Brandon who goes by Be Blou on Facebook. He came all the way from midtown on his bike to check out the tournament and actually helped keep score.  One of the main things in streetball is that if you don’t have someone keeping score, people add points to themselves or remove points from the other teams and causes people to get into heated arguments “Nah bitch, I just scored the layup when we had 7, now we just scored, so it’s 9” , how many times have you played and hear that? We had none of this in this tournament, people wanted to know the score, all they had to do was turn around and look at it.

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Phil refilling his Gatorade.

Players gave everything they had in the game, their bodies got fatigued and needed nourishment, we had a refill station with Gatorade, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Manzanita Sol and water for their choosing to help them compete.  The bad thing is that everyone kept getting a new cup and leaving them on the floor.

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The winners

In the end, every basketball tournament can only have one winner and these guys who I never had heard or seen before went undefeated and won $500, and I’m sure they put it to good use for Valentine’s Day.  I believe their first game was very close and could of gone either way, however after they pulled through they had smooth sailing from then on. So congratulations to them and hope to see them again in the next tournament as they defend the crown.

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My wife and my son who joined me

While I was disappointed that my team Rocket Town suffered defeat, I still had fun helping organize the tournament, meeting new people from the group and most importantly having my family with me.  Big thanks go out to Rudy Ortega and Eric Torres in helping organize the tournament on a quick notice. We learned a few things so hopefully next time, we will have a bigger and better tournament for sure.  Check out the gallery below for more pictures of the tournament and I’ll try to have a video in a week with some highlights.  Forgot to say a big thank you to everyone that came out and played, and also to those that didn’t play and were there to help out in anyway possible. Our next tournament is in 2 months, be ready !

Root Memorial Square Park

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One of the best dunkers in the world, Issac White dunking at the Blacktop. (c) Vice Sports

This basketball park is the only one located in downtown Houston and it’s in front of the Toyota Center where the Rockets play.  Some of the best streetball players are usually found here and if you show up on the weekend, you may want to bring a comfortable folding chair while you wait to have your next since there plenty of people wanting to play.  This park is also referred to the “Blacktop” and there is plenty of events that take place.  I first came here after learning about it through the basketball group and being invited.  You can also find Issac White aka Sir Issac, one of the nation’s top dunkers, slamming the ball against anybody that gets in front of him, after all he has a 55″+inch vertical and is only 5’10”.  The court has very excellent grip and you don’t need to be cleaning your shoes every minute.  There are a few defects to this court, the closest hoop that is towards the Toyota Center is a couple of inches smaller and is offset from the center slightly by about 1 degree so when people are playing full court, this creates an advantage/disadvantage, but this doesn’t discourage anybody who plays. There is also a very slight slope (you can’t tell when playing) on the court at about 3/4 degree or 1 degree, this is to allow the water to drain properly when it rains and have it run off towards the drainage.

 

Mason Park

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Mason Park is located at the heart of the area of Magnolia.  I came to this gym back in the late 90’s when I first originally lived here and it pretty much has remained the same ever since.  The floor is well taken cared of by the park employees.   You can play here on Wednesday’s from 7pm to 9pm, Friday’s from 12:30pm – 2:30pm and also in the evening from 6pm to 8pm, and Saturday from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.  Typically all games are full court and whoever gets 12 points wins.  The good thing about coming here is that there is a sign in sheet so that everyone is guaranteed to play, therefor you can’t have people calling next and picking out the same players who lost the game, they have to sign in again at the end.  The only downside to the gym is the three point line on the sides is very small and you’ll find yourself on tippie toes trying to shoot or if you’re not careful you’ll end up stepping out of bounds.  In addition there is very little room in the out of bounds area due to the walls so if the ball is going out, there’s not a whole lot you can do unless you want to hit yourself.

 

Charlton Park

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Vinh Nguyen, local legend at the park.

I first came to this park maybe sometime during 2001 just after high school after my good friend Eric invited me, I only played here a few times as I kind of moved away the following year and didn’t start playing again until I moved back to Houston in 2014.  Since I moved back to Houston, I kind of been playing at this court pretty much on a weekly basis.  Ingrando Park is actually the closest park near me being a block away however would pretty much consider Charlton my new home park.  This is where Houston Streetball started originally after meeting fellow hooper Philip Eldridge and telling him the idea.


Registered ballers

Frank Mar
Philip Ethridge
Chris Fance
Rudy Ortega
Lance Johnson
Gary Johnson
Adrian Valenzuela
Eric Torres
Devante Anderson
Jesus Acevedo
Ramiro De Leon
Za Bolden
Jarwanza Norris
Kevin Tran
Jonny Tran
Roberto Moreno
Megaman Rose
Joel Espitia
Ricardo Espitia
Alexander Cheeks IV
Vinh Nguyen
Hahn Nguyen