Hoopsters from around state honor Dru Gimlin’s memory by participating in namesake tourney
Some of the teams playing in the Dru Gimlin 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament got more than what they bargained for when they showed up in sweltering Quincy last weekend.
Not only did they have to match muscle and smarts with at least three other teams in 100-degree heat, they did not count on the fact that one of the teams would be, at least on paper, invincible.
The four-man squad of Superman, Batman, Captain America and Flash, continued its tradition of participating almost since its inception, 13 years ago.
Much to the chagrin of children everywhere, these fellows drove no Batmobile nor displayed blinding speed or superhuman power. What they did display, though, was grit, and a deep sense of respect for the child they once knew and the man he would be today.
“He is a hero for Quincy,” Smokey Baughman said of Gimlin.
Smokey is the ‘Superman’ of the group. He has worn superhero shirts to every tournament since 2004, a year after Gimlin died in a car accident.
Baughman played with Gimlin and says that after Gimlin died, he had to fill in for him in the Quincy basketball team back in 2003.
Back in 2003, Batman (aka Andy Harris) was in JV at Quincy High School.
“It was a sad, sad day in Quincy when that (accident) happened,” said Harris, who wears the Batman shirt for this tournament, and only for this tournament. “This is the only time we play,” he added, quipping, “there’s a reason” the team plays in the tournament’s rec bracket and not the elite bracket.
Besides Baughman and Harris, the foursome of fearsome fiends is complete with Michael Kooy (Flash) and Chris Ornelas (Captain America.) All QHS grads from the mid-2000s.
Captain America is not the team captain, Baughman is. Ornelas is the newest member, having joined this year. Three of the four work for the schools in Quincy while Kooy works for Kooy’s Irrigation.
“We love the community, we have been here all our lives and we love to come out and play,” Harris said, then added, “and the shirt still fits.”
The persona, not so much.
“Batman’s superpower is money, and my money’s run out,” Harris joked. The other three players have a similar problem with their characters.
“Flash used to be fast, and he lost all his speed. Now he’s just skinny.”
Baughman is the only one showing any kind of superpower, Harris said. In this case, willpower.
“He’s one of the few of us who’s still in shape,” Harris said.