Hoop d’Ville brings out the all-stars | PostIndependent.com

Hoop d’Ville brings out the all-stars

Pickup basketball was alive and well at Sayre Park on June 5 as 16 teams battled it out at this year’s Hoop d’Ville tournament.

The tournament, now in its fifth year, attracted 64 players and more than 150 spectators.

Every summer the event brings local all-stars out to play for local charities, prizes, and the most coveted award ” bragging rights to the Sayre Park hoops.

Saturday’s games highlighted street ball in its most raw form played by some of the most competitive athletes in the area.

In between long shots, hook shots, a few cheap shots and, in the end, a few bruised bodies and egos, were 64 guys who love to not only compete ” but also win.

“They play to beat each other,” said event organizer Mike Picore, who started the event five years ago. “There used to be a lot of tournaments, and they just dried up.” That’s when Picore started Hoop d’Ville.

News of the contest spread quickly by word of mouth. “It’s a basketball reunion; whenever we get back together, we tell the same stories,” said Mike Vidakovich.

Many players either grew up playing ball as kids or played together in high school. “I love coming out and playing. It’s in your blood; you can’t stop playing,” said Craig Amichaux.

The event raised money for four charities, including the Glenwood Springs High School basketball program.

“I’m old-school Glenwood: It still scares me to see Vidakovich on the court,” said Terry Wilson.

The day offered a brief glimpse of glory days gone by and put a perspective on the dire prospects of aging, a premise which the Lost Planet Airmen, who have won the tournament three times, took in stride.

The Airmen had a makeshift medicine cabinet that contained Advil, hot patches, an ointment developed by a supposed witch doctor in Walsenburg and an effective recipe for a heat pack made with chili peppers.

This information prompted Tony Popish to send a message to the Airmen. “Tell them we’re going to start drug testing the second half,” he said.

The other teams agreed. The Airmen are tough to beat, but what, exactly, is their secret? Well, as it turns out, there really is a concoction involved in their winning.

“They’ve got a lot of experience and hustle and they are all good all-around players,” said Mike Barbee. “They play smart basketball.”

The Bruisers, from left, Shane Eagan of Glenwood is the soup man at 8th and Colorado, Terry Wilson of Glenwood is chief of police, Craig Amichaux is an insurance adjuster at McMillan Claims Service, and Jeremy Wilson of Glenwood is studying political science and Spanish at Colorado State University.

From left, Jim Yellico of Glenwood owns Rocky Mountain Realtors, Adam Wiggins of Denver works in communications, Eli Houck of Queens, N.Y., works in technical support for a financial services company, and Dorian McClelland of Phoenix, Ariz., manages a restaurant.

The Whistle Pigs, from left, Brian Nadon of New Castle just graduated from Liberty Youth Ministry, Aaron Nadon of Denver is a medical student at University of Colorado, Mark Schenk of Glenwood is studying sports medicine at Colorado State University, and Andy Hansen of Glenwood is studying technical journalism at Colorado State University.

From left, Abacu Luna of Rifle is a truck driver, Greg Hire of Glenwood works for Berthod Motors, and Matt Daniells of Glenwood is home from college this summer working as a raft guide and at the Hotel Jerome.

Team Canyon, from left, Rich Coller and Mike Poyner of Rifle are chemical engineers, Ab Pritchett of Rifle is an insurance investigator and Shawn Holder of Silt sells heating supplies.

From left, Daniel Popish of Basalt is majoring in communications at Colorado University, Kyle Kappeli of Basalt is a construction management major at Colorado State University, Flint Glassier of Basalt is a photographer, and Alan Short of Basalt is a contractor.

From left, event timekeepers Christy Wohletz of New Castle works for Glenwood Insurance, Kristi Bradford of Grand Junction works for Bank of Colorado, and Jamie Lough of Glenwood works for Stewart Title.

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