(PHOTO /CAPTION) TEAM WATTS WINS ‘NIKE’ BASKETBALL 3 on 3 TOURNAMENT – St. Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic School Cougars in Watts were victors in the 6TH Annual Nike 3 on 3 Tournament at L.A. LIVE. (L to R) Rashad Cobb, Tionne Tisdale, Coach Marc
There was no ‘ticker-tape” parade but there was a celebration for people in Watts who followed the achievements of three teams representing their community in this month’s 6th an-nual Nike Basketball 3 on 3 tournament at L.A. Live. The teams, St. Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic School Cougars (Adult Division), the Four Commandments (High School) and Watts Saints (elementary school) earned sponsorships to play in the event after winning the inaugural “Road to ‘Nike’ 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament” held at Markham Middle School in June.
In a field of more than 1,500 teams, many from out-of-state, ballers Mjumbe Williams, Rashad Cobb, Tionne Tisdale and Coach Marc Maye navigated the Cougars through five games of round-robin competition to a first place finish in the Adult Division. Elvontey Cromwell, Cartrell Thompson, Geremy Washington, and Rachmun Brown, made it to the High School Divi-sion semi-finals while the Watts Saints battled hard but were eliminated in the Elementary School Division
St. Lawrence of Brindisi Coach Maye says the “Road to ‘Nike” experience was about more than basketball. “This victory means a lot because it put our city on the map. It’s bigger than just winning a tournament. It lets our young people know that they can achieve whatever they put their minds to if they work together. You can come from Watts and win on a big stage.
All it takes is hard work, team work and dedication!” he observed.
Hosted by L.A. Live owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Nike tournament has grown as a destination point for hoops lovers waiting for the NBA season to get underway at Staples Center and now attracts over 25,000 spectators to the three-day event. It’s the type of positive summer activity envisioned by Elvonzo Cromwell, head of the Community Sports Federation League (CSFL) and organizer of the “Road to Nike” tournament at Markham. “It’s great that our youth had the opportunity, sponsors and support to represent Watts in a positive light on a big stage. We’re looking forward to next year as well as involving our community in other character building activities,” he said.
Cromwell has drawn together a coalition of supporters for his “build a better Watts com-munity” efforts including Warner Bros., RC/7UP, Markham Middle School, City National Bank, Mrs. Melanie Lundquist, YO Watts, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilman Joe Buscanio, Neighborhood Youth Achievers, Regal Entertainment Group, Boston Private Bank & Trust Company and the Wattstar Cinema & Education Center.