Annual Hoop d’ Ville tournament features new twist |

Annual Hoop d’ Ville tournament features new twist

Jon Mitchell

Cassandra Irving has done her share of playing with the guys during the annual Hoop D’ Ville basketball tournament. Now she’s doing what she can to get a few more girls to join her.

Irving, a 1995 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School and the former Casey Hailey, is helping tournament founder Michael Picore put the event together. But she’s also helping to grow the fundraising tournament in a new direction, putting the tournament’s first all-female team into the field.

“All of the guys that I’ve ever played with there have always been very classy, so I’m hoping that this will start something,” she said.

The annual tournament, which will be played for the 13th time, begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Sayre Park basketball courts in Glenwood Springs. It’s expected to last until 4 p.m. depending on the size of the tournament field, which has been as big as 26 teams. It’s open to men and women ages 15-60, according to the flier sent out by Picore earlier this week, and features 4-on-4 play with as many as six players on a team.

Prizes will be distributed to teams who finish first through sixth place, and a slam dunk contest is also on the itinerary. Proceeds from tournament registration fees go toward CARE animal shelter in south Glenwood Springs along with high school basketball programs in the area.

This year’s tournament, thanks to Irving, will feature open registration for a women’s basketball division. Among the players who’ll be on Irving’s women’s squad will be a pair of soon-to-be GSHS seniors in Madi Spence and Jordan DeCrow. Both were on a Glenwood girls squad which went 23-2 last season, falling to Palmer Ridge in the 4A state playoffs’ Sweet 16 round and eventual state champ Mesa Ridge in its regular-season finale.

Irving was pretty good when she played at Glenwood, too. She was a four-year varsity player at Glenwood and, in her senior season in 1994-95, she helped the Demons win the Western Slope League title while claiming the WSL’s Player of the Year honor. She went on to play college at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, which recently made the jump from NCAA Division II to Division I.

This will be the fourth time that Irving has played in the tournament but, obviously, the first time she’s played exclusively with other females. That said, she’s set her team’s expectations at what she feels is a realistic level.

“We’re not going to go in there and expect to win the thing,” she said with a laugh. “But I think it would make sense for us to feel like we’re going to at least have a good showing. And my hopes are that this will at least get the ball rolling for other girls and women to come out and play every year.”

More information in the tournament can be found by calling Picore at 970-309-2911, or by accessing the tournament’s website at

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