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Red-hot hoops returning to Sayre Park

Dale Strode

Great balls of fire!

Red-hot hoops return to the hotbed of basketball in Glenwood Springs this weekend.

Sayre Park, the living shrine to playground basketball in the region, once again will host the annual 3-on-3 tournament staged by basketball junkie Mike Picore.

The G-wood Great Balls of Fire 3-on-3 Tournament is set for Saturday on the historic courts of Sayre Park.

Tournament play will begin at 9 a.m.

The double-elimination playground tournament will continue all day with the championship expected about 4 p.m.

Approximately 20 teams are expected, including numerous teams who have competed over the first three years of the event.

“It’s starting to expand more and more,” Picore said of the tournament he started back in 1999.

This year will mark the fourth annual playground tournament, which Picore puts on because he loves basketball and he loves tournament play.

“A lot of teams are coming back. And a lot of players who played before are on teams that are coming back this year,” Picore said of the tournament lineup that is peppered with the Sayre Park regulars, past and present.

Several decorated area alumni are expected to play again this year, including Kevin Flohr and Paul Cain, the local legends who went on to record-setting careers at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.

Cain, currently the athletic director at Central High School in Grand Junction, is a former Basalt High School all-stater.

Flohr, a product of the Glenwood Demon basketball frenzy, also went on to Mesa State after his prep career.

Flohr teamed with Jim Yellico, the race director for the upcoming Strawberry Shortcut, and his son Sean to win the 2001 3-on-3 tournament at Sayre Park. The team played under the nickname “Paper or Plastic,” testament to Flohr’s position as manager of the local City Market.

Other top GSHS alums who may participate include Jason Hill, Mike Vidakovich, John Doose, Andy Ormsby, etc.

Also this year, Picore said, teams and players are coming from Aspen and Rifle. One team from the Eagle-Avon area also will participate.

“It should be a good tournament with tons of great players,” Picore said of the event, which has become a must-see for local basketball fans.

Admission, of course, is free and the public is invited to watch the best in playground basketball, Picore said.

Teams can still enter the tournament by showing up early on Saturday morning at Sayre Park.

Late entries will be accepted at 8:30 a.m. with play starting at 9 a.m.

For more info on the 3-on-3 tournament, telephone Picore at 309-2911.


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