The 3-on-3 tournamentTuesday, January 15, 2008 By Nathan Dudley
The worn-out leather basketball forms an arc through the air, but it’s not destined for the bottom of the net in any regard. The next contact it makes will either be hardwood or Plexiglas. With luck it might actually catch a little bit of the rim. This scene is all too common for Mr. Pereira, one of just a handful of teachers participating in this year’s 3-on-3 basketball tournament. This was his second year playing in the tournament. “I wouldn’t [participate] without the students,” Pereira said. “They know that I enjoy the sport and like the competition.” Other teachers competing in the tournament were Grant Depue, Jason Adams, John Kirk, and Ryan O’Donnell. Mr. Depue, the wrestling coach, joined a couple of his athletes to form Team S.W.A.T (Studs Without Any Talent). Unfortunately, they stayed true to their name and were eliminated first round. Teacher involvement in the 3-on-3 tournament has always been popular among students. “We get to see their competitive side come out. It was comical,” junior Monica You-booth said. For many students who only know their teachers in a classroom setting, the tournament offers them a fresh look at the people dedicated to their education. “It’s a great way to connect with my students” Pereira said. However, he emphasized the point that “the focus should always be on the students.” It could be said that O’Donnell’s focus was a little different than that Pereira. Before the championship game began he was already calling out a guaranteed victory for his squad. The final contest was a bit heated to say the least. Uncalled fouls and hard contact were so prevalent that Coach Steve Taylor, the game’s official, was forced to place an automatic two-point rule for every shooting foul. In the end, O’Donnell’s team came away victorious despite a barrage of threes from junior Tyler Garrison. The annual 3-on-3 tournament was still successful this year despite a steady drop off in the amount of teams involved due to the proximity of winter break. Teacher participation was a main reason for that. Sadly, students will have to wait another year until they can see their teachers don the headbands and basketball shorts once again.