Downtown and NotFast JustFurious players face off during the women’s Elite Division championship during the Everett 3on3 tournament Sunday in downtown Everett. NotFast JustFurious won, 20-17. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Downtown and NotFast JustFurious players face off during the women’s Elite Division championship during the Everett 3on3 tournament Sunday in downtown Everett. NotFast JustFurious won, 20-17. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Run it back: Everett 3on3 puts on show as it continues to grow

The second edition of the basketball extravaganza took over the streets of downtown Everett this past weekend.

EVERETT — The Everett 3on3 basketball tournament was back in action on the streets of downtown for its second edition.

Resting on the corner of Hewitt and Colby avenues, the bright blue center court drew a healthy crowd of spectators Saturday and Sunday as players of all age groups gathered for a weekend of hoops. With the adjacent Everett Farmers Market set up on Wetmore Avenue, it made for a quality stroll around the blocks for spectators and families as the games commenced around them.

The event saw a boost in participation, with a total of 248 four-person teams participating, up from the 200 teams which showed out during the inaugural Everett 3on3 tournament last summer. The groups spread across 31 divisions, based on age, gender and talent level.

Sunday’s culminating events, such as the dunk contest and the men’s and women’s Elite Division championship rounds, made for an entertaining end to the weekend. An MC narrated the events held on the main court, adding some flair and laughter through the microphone.

Here’s a deeper dive into how some of the events played out:

Elite Division Championships

Daniels’ Broilers player Spencer Hauser celebrates during the men’s Elite Division championship game during the Everett 3on3 tournament Sunday in downtown Everett. Daniels’ Broilers won against B’s Bakery, 20-14. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Daniels’ Broilers player Spencer Hauser celebrates during the men’s Elite Division championship game during the Everett 3on3 tournament Sunday in downtown Everett. Daniels’ Broilers won against B’s Bakery, 20-14. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Both the men’s and women’s Elite Division title rounds didn’t disappoint the public. With a team cash prize of $1,000 and an Alaska Airlines flight voucher for each player, as well as a $250 award for the runners-up, it added some incentive. Former University of Washington and NBA star Brandon Roy was in attendance for both clashes.

The women’s Elite bracket, which saw ‘NotFast JustFurious’ take home a 20-17 championship win over ‘Downtown’, was a highly competitive bout between two groups that also squared off in Spokane’s HoopFest just weeks prior.

Sharpshooting 5-foot-5 guard Erin McCaslin, who played for Tahoma High School and Roosevelt University in Chicago, consistently drew the nickname ‘shooter’ from the Everett 3on3 MC as she pumped in long-range buckets in the semifinal and final rounds.

“It’s always really fun playing with my friends,” McCaslin said. “We do this every summer, and our goal is always to win but have fun at the same time. … Same team we just played (against) in HoopFest and won, so we just try to run it back.”

McCaslin said she’d like to see the event continue to be an annual one. “I think the Everett tournament is phenomenal,” she said. “I’d love to see more women’s teams and grow that, but definitely for its second year, it’s grown a lot and I would love to be back here next year.”

The men’s title round, which capped off the tournament in the late afternoon Sunday, was also a treat.

‘Daniel’s Broilers’ ended up sealing a 20-14 victory over ‘B’s Bakery’, breaking away towards the end of the contest with a flurry of 3s from 6-foot-7 forward and former four-year University of Montana player Bobby Moorehead.

Moorehead spoke highly of the competition level in the Elite brackets as well how the event was conducted.

“Anytime you get competitive hoopers, everyone is gonna want to win,” Moorehead said. “Nobody wants to go home a loser, it doesn’t matter if there’s any prize or not, real hoopers hoop. People get competitive and get competitive juices flowing, that’s what you want. … As more people keep hearing about it, it’s just gonna keep getting better hoopers and continue to grow.”

The former Stadium High School standout recognized the potential of growing the tournament and reaching loftier goals in the future.

“It’s huge,” he said. “I mean, just look at what HoopFest has done for Spokane. Obviously, that’s on a much bigger scale, but that’s probably what they’re trying to do here. The way they ran it was well ran, so I can see this thing keep growing and growing. It massively changed Spokane, so that can do the same here in this community.”

Dunk contest

The dunk contest brought in a boatload of showmanship and athletic dunks from professionals. Los Angeles Clippers trampoline dunkers Chris Staples and Brandon Ruffin stole the show and provided the crowd with creative and eyebrow-raising jams.

Staples and Ruffin traded slams after an amateur dunk session was held beforehand. Staples drew a perfect score from the three contest judges in one of the final rounds, standing stationary under the basket with the ball being held between his ankles. After a standing jump, he grabbed the rim and swung his momentum up, lifting the ball above the rim with his legs before releasing the rim just in time to power down the difficult slam.

Ruffin took the crown in the final round as he trotted out a father and young son onto the court, vaulting over both as the son rested on his father’s shoulders, before throwing down a two-handed dunk with his back to the basket.

Ruffin, who competes in dunk contests all over the country, wanted to bring a good experience to the fans so they could remember his first time in the greater Seattle area.

“For me, it’s kinda a personal thing,” Ruffin said. “The (Seattle SuperSonics) were my favorite NBA team when I was growing up, so one thing I always told myself was that if I ever made it to Seattle or Washington, I wanna put on a show, whether it be basketball or whatever I am doing. I wanted to make you guys laugh, smile and make sure I perform well in the state of one of my favorite teams. … I loved the city, loved Everett, I’m thinking about delaying my flight home.”

Ruffin and Staples were new editions to the dunk contest in the second edition of Everett 3on. Ruffin said he knew about it 2022 when it was promoted on Instagram.

“I saw the turnout of this thing last year, they did a great job of promoting it,” he said. “But I will say, with this one it seemed like not only were there more people, but they were way more engaged. … That’s what me and Chris try to do as dunkers, we understand that it’s a contest, but you have to have a showman aspect of it, because that’s how you get the community involved. A lot of people won’t remember the dunks, but they do remember how they felt, that’s the big part of it.”

Local high school standouts on the scene

Although there weren’t a ton of recognizable current high school players from Snohomish County, former Mariner star and 2023 graduate Makai Bloomfield turned in a solid weekend for ‘Team Barkley’ in the Elite Division. Bloomfield brought his usual smooth scoring punch against opposing teams in the bracket as his squad made it to the semifinal round before dropping 20-12 against the eventual winners in ‘Daniel’s Broilers’.

“It’s been fun,” Bloomfield said. “I haven’t been in many tournaments since I graduated, so it’s fun getting back on the court with my friends and some older guys that I used to play with when I was younger. … I think this is a good thing to do, you can get a team together and just enjoy it with family coming to watch and food around. I think this is a good thing for the community (and) they should keep rolling with it.”

Not competing over the weekend, but supporting and watching the games unfold, Everett guard and soon-to-be senior Ty Bloomfield also mentioned the impact of the tournament.

“It’s just nice to see the Everett community group in together and have fun all weekend,” he said. “I’m kinda just enjoying a weekend without having to play basketball and just watching.”

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