Glenwood Springs hoops tourney raises money, reunites friends |

Glenwood Springs hoops tourney raises money, reunites friends

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Mike Picore may just be Glenwood’s patron saint of basketball and worthy causes. His yearly tournaments at the tradition-rich Sayre Park bring together not only hoopsters of all abilities, ages and sizes, but good friends who make the annual pilgrimage to the asphalt to catch up on old times and test their abilities against the best the valley has to offer.

“It was another good day of hoops,” said Picore in his usual upbeat way.

Picore’s June 3-on-3 tourney and the July 4-on-4 full-court hoops events have always been for the benefit of organizations in need of financial support. Colorado Animal Rescue, The Angel Network and the Glenwood High School basketball teams have been the benificiaries of tournaments past. This year’s 4-on-4 tourney took on added significance as one of Picore’s co-workers at Wells Fargo Bank, Teresa Monger, is undergoing radiation treatments at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver.

Of course, Picore jumped at the chance to help.

“We’ve raised close to $2,100 for her so far with the help of today’s tournament,” said Picore, who is the captain of the Fightin’ Whities, who came in with a runner-up finish on the day.

The big winners of the tournament, which drew a 12 team field, was D’Town, a team from Denver which was made up of ex-players from Skyview and Montbello high schools. Theo Kemm, Derek McCoy, David Bustamante, Reggie Jackson and Jovann Parker brought some of the city game to the Glenwood outdoor courts and came away with the title by defeating the Fightin’ Whities, a team consisting of Picore, Daniel Koski, Joe Hood, Chris Hoffmeister, Jared Picore and Glenwood High School boys basketball coach Greg Hire, for the title by a 30-20 final count.

The Whities actually forced D’Town into the final showdown game by winning the first meeting between the two by a close 31-29 score. The evenly matched teams went back and forth trading leads until Hoffmeister, who is known for his long-range accuracy, hit a late 3-pointer that served as a dagger to the heart of the Denver team and sent the tourney into a final winner-take-all scenario.

The Whities, playing their eighth game of the day, ran out of steam in the finale and went down by a 30-20 decision giving D’Town the title.

Even though Hire was disappointed with his team’s loss in the final, he had to be encouraged by the play of the team that took third place on the day, the Forkers. The Forkers were made up of Glenwood High School players Kevin Screen, Jordan Ciani and Connor Riley. Recently graduated Tucker Riley and Aspen High School throw-in Matt Holmes rounded out the team that seemed to make the biggest impression on those who witnessed the day’s battles.

“I think everyone was impressed with the high school team,” said Picore, who was forced to play against them in the game to determine who would make the finals. “Everyone that was watching seemed to be pulling for them. It just wasn’t quite their time yet.”

Following the team’s elimination, Ciani, who will also help lead the Glenwood football team this fall, had only positive things to say about the experience gained by playing against the high level of competition.

“It was tough. It’s a lot more physical out here than in the WSL (Western Slope League).”

Though the basketball is done for the summer, Picore is hopeful that more donations for Teresa Monger will be forthcoming. Those who would like to help can still do so by sending their donation to: Mike Picore, Attn: Teresa Monger, P.O. Box 519 , Glenwood, CO 81602.

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