Blacktop Battle 2010
Rockets and University of Phoenix team up for annual event showcasing the best of Houston hoops
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HOUSTON - Nearly all of us started the same way: outdoors, ball in hand, pavement, backboard, basket, and a dream.
Rain or shine. Nylon net, chain-link or no net at all. Didnt matter. Just you and the ball, eye on the hoop, recreating the magical moments you saw on TV the night before.
Regardless of color, creed or class, that scene played out on all the driveways and playgrounds of our youth is the great uniter. Its my story and yours; his and hers. It serves as the origin of our lifelong love affair with this amazing game, one which transcends the myriad walls we consciously and subconsciously place around ourselves out of fear, ignorance and whatever other bogeys we create which needlessly keep us up at night.
Such is the power of basketball. A mere game, yes, though one seemingly blessed with an inherent ability to assist its practitioners in the art of overcoming the insurmountable.
It figures, then, that after monsoon conditions threatened to spoil this weekends Blacktop Battle the annual 3-on-3 hoops tournament put on by the Rockets and University of Phoenix which takes place just outside Toyota Center the skies cleared, the sun ruled and basketball in its purest form was allowed to take center stage once more.
More than 200 teams took part, all displaying different levels of skill while showcasing the exact same passion for the game that compelled them to enter the event in the first place. There were shimmies and shakes, no-looks and no-ways, as some soared and others allowed gravity to have its way. But regardless of the signature style in question, each was welcome and all were embraced because, on that court, there is no such thing as wrong or right, only unique interpretations of the universal hoops vernacular.
The entire event served as a basketball celebration of sorts, from the games themselves to the slam dunk contest that beckoned everyone to the main court to watch finalists Derrick Lawrence, Isaac White and Keyshawn Reed engage in a gasp-inducing game of "Can you top this?!?" There's just something about watching mere mortals morph into objects temporarily freed from the laws of physics which takes your breath away every time. And to hear the human harmony as the huddled masses uproariously exhale all at once at the gravity-defying miracle playing out before their eyes is to know that few things in life are sweeter than shared euphoria.
This is what brings us together. These are the ties that bind. Here we find eternal youth and dreams both past and present. The game has brought us full circle, back to where it all began: a ball in hand, a backboard and a basket. On the blacktop, as it always was. And as it always will be.
Thanks to all the teams that competed in the 2010 Blacktop Battle presented by University of Phoenix Houston Campus on March 20 & 21. Congratulations to the following teams for winning the championship in their respective divisions:
Div. 1A Overall Adult Elite: Flight 713
Div. 1B Adult Elite: BAMF
Div. 2A Adult Competitive: Believe da Hype
Div. 2B Adult Competitive: Spidas
Div. 2C Adult Competitive: Brave Nuts
Div. 3A Adult Recreational: T-High Hoopers
Div. 3B Adult Recreational: Legendary
Div. 3C Adult Recreational: Hustle
Div. 3D Adult Recreational: Lewis Park
Div. 3E Adult Recreational: NWA
Div. 3F Adult Recreational: Houston Bombers
Div. 4 Youth 11&12: Hoopers
Div. 5 Youth 13: Houston Kings
Div. 6 Youth 14: Thunder
Div. 7 Youth 15: 5th Ward Wildcats
Div. 8 Youth 16: Houston Ballers
Div. 9A Youth 17: Beast Mode
Div. 9B Youth 17: The Generals
Div. 10 Youth 7-9: West U Ballers
Tournament Hotline: 713-758-7702