"Kings of the Court": a look at the Celebrate Petworth 3x3 basketball tournament

Photo courtesy Derek Staten

by James Salt

Using an organic tournament style partially modeled on pick-up streetball and a boxing match, Petworth crowned two new “King of the Court” champions this past Saturday after five hours and thirteen rounds of intense basketball. The second annual Celebrate Petworth 3x3 basketball tournament expanded this year by providing scholarship awards to the high school, middle school and female student-led teams who could most effectively dominate Petworth Park’s outdoor basketball court.

The half-court tournament consisted of 15 minute games with intervening 5 minute break periods. Teams who won moved up, teams who lost went back to the end of the queue. Participants kept their own score and called their own fouls. Shots inside the arc counted for one, shots outside the arc counted for two and substitutes were permitted before the start of play. At the end of the day, the teams who controlled center court with the most impressive number of wins were declared the winners.

Thanks to the generous support of Industrial Bank, Fiesta DC and Creating Solutions for Communities, Celebrate Petworth awarded $100.00 scholarships to student athletes from EL Haynes and Roosevelt STAY. This year’s scholarship winners were Jeremiah Middleton, Deyaun Wallace, Reden Ecleo, Agyei Edwards, Sanu Basu and Joseph Adedayo. No female student athletes participated, leaving those scholarships unclaimed. (Attention ladies, start building your team for next year!)

A diverse set of thirteen teams representing more than 55 individuals participated; making 2016 our largest and most competitive tournament field.

Photo courtesy Derek Staten

Last year’s defending champions were present to open the tournament. Brian Spencer led team Hoops to four victories on center stage before relinquishing the court. Throughout the day, a total of four teams would hold center court. But the crown belonged to team Bro, led by Sanu Basu from Roosevelt STAY, who dominated five consecutive victories to close out the tournament.

Halfway through the tournament, a middle school competition heated up and the younger players were granted a designated court to see which their teams were the strongest. After short runs, teams Dream and Fade were dispatched by team Global Shift, placing the team from EL Haynes middle school in the money. 

Notable mentions belong to Bryan Crutchfield and his team of Wiseguys who never stopped hustling despite being undermanned. Teams Spurs, Justice and Longfellow all made well organized efforts which contributed greatly to the overall competitiveness of the play.

In addition to financial sponsors, a number of individuals were critical to the tournament’s success. Derek Staten from MPD diligently kept time and facilitated game flow. Jasmin Benab from Muriel Bowser’s Office of the Mayor provided the sound system and recruited much needed scholarship support. Sarah Gabriel from Friends of Petworth Park helped secure the permit. Karla Kelley and her team from DPR provided equipment and facility support. And Leslie Griffith, Lucan Pipkin, Chickaro Martin and Kavitha Chetty Ness from the Celebrate Petworth planning committee all provided essential support.

For more information on how to volunteer for next year’s tournament, email James Salt.

Related article:
 - Celebrating Petworth: a photo gallery of the 2016 Festival (June 05, 2016)

James Salt & Derek Staten

Ed note: This article was written by Petworth resident James Salt, who organized the 3-on-3 basketball tournament / scholarship, along with MPD representative Derek Staten and many others, at the Celebrate Petworth Festival on June 4th. Many thanks to James and everyone who volunteers their time!