The first basketball tournament of the year, the 2011 Men’s New Year’s Basketball Tournament, was recently held at the Pi-Copa Gym at the Salt River Community Building. Nine teams gathered January 6–8 to have fun playing basketball and compete for the championship title.
Players traveled to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community from reservations across Arizona in hopes of winning the championship. However, in the final games only four teams would place: All Nations, Kings, the Outlaws and New Year’s Basketball Champions Flight.
In the final game, Flight and All Nations battled it out toe-to-toe, keeping the game steady during the first half.
No. 3 Jordan Stroud, an All-Tourney player from Flight who is a bit shorter than his other teammates, played offense extremely well. Stroud stole the ball, ran up the court and attempted a shot, and was fouled. He shot a free throw, giving his team the lead, 39 - 32.
During the second half, No. 24 Brennon Tallman from All Nations got a technical and was kicked out of the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. “He would have gotten MVP,” said SRPMIC Recreation Coordinator II Duane Guy.
Team Flight won the championship 77 - 75, leaving All Nations as the runner-up. Both teams received sweatshirts for their participation in the tournament.
The Most Valuable Player was LaVonne Salabye from team Flight.