By Shaley Howard, PQ Monthly
It’s that time of year again – long hot summer days, BBQ’s, swimming, hiking, rafting and basketball! That’s right – it’s time for the 6th Annual Portland Women’s 3×3 Basketball Tournament.
What’s the big deal about this particular event? WOMEN! This is an all day community staple event that’s easily the largest “women’s only” 3×3 basketball tournament in the state, possible the nation. Each year at least 30 teams of women of all ages and skill levels participate ranging from 18-60+. Whether they’re league champions, gym rats, college hoopsters – short, tall, young, old – all women seem to join in. Even women that haven’t played in years dust off their sneakers and come out to play. But that’s not all this tournament is – it’s a party. Seriously, let’s face it, it’s a big all day party in the park. More on that later.
The event itself is a benefit for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which is the largest LGBT non-profit organization in the U.S. with over a million members and supporters. The mission of HRC is to lobby and fight for equality and basic rights for the LGBT community. Nike #BeTrue has been the presenting sponsor every year and donates a plethora of kick-ass prizes for both 1st and 2nd place winners in all four brackets.
The tournament is also run entirely by volunteers. Did you get that? Entirely by volunteers. Whether it’s the 8-10 referees that work the entire day or the folks that show up at 7am to set up, the deejays spinning music, the local vendors who make sure all volunteers are fed or the people that set up and haul away all recycling and garbage –this event runs on local helping hands. That’s phenomenal considering the multitude of steps it takes to make this event happen.
OK, so back to the party. It seems quite natural that if you have 30 teams of women playing ball in a park on a beautiful summer day, you’re going to have a bunch of other women (and men too) show up to spectate and enjoy the day also. With DJ’s spinning bumpin’ music, sunshine, picnicking, socializing and possible flirting with the hot babes next to you – all while watching women playing amazing basketball – let the party begin.
“Honestly, it is my favorite gig because I get to wear a fierce outfit, cruise hot sporto lezzies, and play jock jams 1-20”, commented Katey Pants, aka DJ Roy G Biv.
And if all of that isn’t enough, each year during the lunch period there’s a spirit award (an award that goes to the team with the most creative outfits and enthusiasm) and a 3-point shooting contest for additional fun and entertainment. Plus this year adding to the excitement, the Last Regiment Drum Corp will also be performing. All of this community fun, packed into one day of supporting women in sports and raising money for the LGBT community.
Longtime tourney player Allison Sewah summed up the day with this statement, “The Portland women’s 3×3 tournament is a blast in all aspects- whether you’re playing or spectating (I’ve done both). There’s an incredible sense of community that you feel when you’re there. The tournament takes this community blacktop and turns it into a ‘women’s space’. You have all these people who’ve come together to celebrate sport, women, and the coming together of the two. Plus, the weather is typically phenomenal!”
If you’re interested in playing or want additional information click on this link.