By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE There was plenty of basketball being played on Sunday, Aug. 24 in the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on the campus of Sullivan County Community College (SCCC).
But it was not the SCCC Generals or Lady Generals hoops teams competing on the court.
The dozens of players dribbling, passing and shooting on the SCCC hardwood floor hailed from as far away as California and as close as New York City. They were competing in the 2008 Still Hoopin’ 3-on-3 Classic Tournament.
Still Hoopin’ Founder and Executive Vice President Robert Marder said that this is the third consecutive year the organization has held a tournament in Sullivan County. The first two events were held the past two summers at Camp Iroquois Springs in Rock Hill.
Marder noted that Still Hoopin’, which is a division of All City Sports Marketing, holds two or three tournaments around the country each year. Past events have been held in places like Miami, Fla. and California.
“We have 16 teams here today,” Marder said. “They are three-man teams, but they are allowed to have four or five players. The first part of the tournament is a round-robin [format], so each team plays six games. The games are to 21. Regular baskets are 1 point and traditional 3-pointers are worth 2 points.”
Marder and Jeff Weiss, a basketball coach and athletic director at Lawrence Woodmere Academy on Long Island who was one of the many people assisting Marder at the tourney, noted the players all of whom had to be at least 35 years of age were very talented.
“About 80 percent of these guys played in college and/or professionally,” Marder said.
The Big Red team from Milwaukee, Wisc. and the Free Agents from Miami, Fla. competed for the grand prize of $125,000.
The Big Red was led by Corey Blackwell, who played at the University of Wisconsin and for the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics, and Cedric McCullough, who played for the University of Northern Iowa and professionally in Australia. The Free Agents were led by Paul Jones and Johnny Israel.
In the double-elimination portion of the tournament, the Free Agents came out of the loser’s bracket. The team had to win three straight games to reach the final. In the championship contest, Jones hit a 2-point shot from the top of the key to win the game and ensure a big pay day for the Free Agents.
In addition to the tournament, many of the players competed in a 3-point shooting contest. The final two shooters were Tim Sullivan and Hersey Hawkins. Sullivan defeated Hawkins to win the $25,000 first prize.
Players of note in the Still Hoopin’ 3-on-3 Classic Tournament at SCCC included: Blackwell, Hawkins, Anthony “Half Man-Half Amazing” Heyward, Bo Kimble, McCullough, Glen Rice and James “Speedy” Williams. In addition, former National Football League (NFL) player Andre Rison competed in the event.
“This a great event,” SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew said as he watched the action. “I’m glad that the college could be a part of it.”