Dru Gimlin 3-on-3 tournament canceled for this year
The Dru Gimlin 3-on-3 Street Basketball Tournament, a staple of Quincy summers for a decade and a half, will go on a one-year hiatus this year, due to scheduling conflicts and a lack of volunteer help.
The news was made public last month and confirmed by the tournament’s founder and longtime member of the organizing committee, Lisa Karstetter.
“I guarantee we will be back next year,” she said.
The tournament celebrates the legacy of Quincy High School student and hoops standout Dru Gimlin, who died in a car accident in 2003. The event awards scholarships to students every year, in addition to their popular long-sleeve shirts to the bracket-winning teams.
The tournament tends to happen in mid-June, often in triple-digit weather.
This year, however, in addition to scheduling conflicts with graduations and weddings, there was the extra wrinkle of roadwork on the highway into Quincy, making the prospect of a trip into and out of town tougher for players and emergency personnel, Karstetter said.
Moreover, the tournament has relied on volunteer helpers for years, many of whom were high school seniors working on their senior project. The state has since eliminated the senior project as a graduation requirement, shrinking the volunteer pool.
Lastly, many of the longtime court monitors have gotten to the age when one can’t expect them to stand in the sunshine for a whole day, Karstetter said.
“This year, we moved the date three times to accommodate, we couldn’t get any seniors, so it’s harder to get help.”
The trio of Karstetter, Stephanie Boorman and former Quincy hoops assistant coach Levi Heyen did most of the heavy lifting over the years. Now Karstetter has to travel a lot for her work with Microsoft, Boorman has a new baby, and Heyen is the head coach in Cashmere.
“We have tried to get service groups, other people to step up and help,” she said, later mentioning the need to step back and take a breather so that “the tournament is not automatically every year the Stephanie-Lisa-and-Levi show.
“We need more hands to help,” she said. Another change might be to follow the lead of the Moses Lake streetball tournament, which pays its referees.
Ironically, the news of the cancellation of the tournament sparked an uptick of interest from people wanting to help, she said, adding that interest in playing in the tourney has never wavered.
The tournament’s attendance has fluctuated over the years, but never below 75 teams. As years have passed, the youth teams have outnumbered the grown-up teams, Karstetter said.
“(This) is great, because it means they will continue to play,” she said.
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org