The Salt River “Back 2da School Yard” Basketball Tournament took place August 18-20 at the Salt River Pi-Copa Gym. The co-ed tournament had two age brackets, 8-12 and 13-15, and was hosted by the Salt River Recreation Department.
The Salt River Warriors won the tournament championship in the 13-15 age bracket. They beat Ft. Yuma, which finished the tournament in second place. The final score was Warriors 35, Ft. Yuma 17.
Salt River Warriors player Btaka Brown said he was sad that he lost one game, but was glad to come back and win it all.
Brown stands 6 feet, 4 inches tall and says that he is good at rebounding. He towered over the Ft. Yuma players, dominating the game. Brown was selected as MVP for the championship game.
The Phoenix-based team Pitts Silver won in the 8-12 age bracket, defeating Ak-Chin by seven points. Both teams fought hard and went back and forth with scoring; however, Pitts Silver played better defense.
The Pitts Silver coach, Ozzy Acosta, said that he was proud of his team. “When my guys come hard, they can do whatever they want,” he said.
For 9-year-old Ziggy Diaz, a Pitts Silver player, this was his first year playing in a tournament. He said, “I had fun and liked how we won.”
Pitts Silver player Sal Zambrano, who was the 8-12 MVP, said, “I like playing defense, and what I learned from this tournament is I need to stop fouling.”
Players on the championship teams and all-tourneys received backpacks and T-shirts with the tournament name embossed on them.