Sports & Recreation
CasinoAZ was crowned this year's tournament champions.

Fourth Annual Wellness March Madness Basketball Tournament

By Sheila Begay

Au-Authm Action News

On Wednesday, April 2, the Fourth Annual March Madness Basketball Tournament championship game took place at Friendship Park near the Round House Café. For about four weeks, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community tribal employees on 10 teams had been battling out on the court to prove which team would earn the championship title.

“[The tournament has] been awesome; we’ve had a different winner every year,” said Wellness Program Supervisor Andrew Weiler. “This is our first injury-free tournament (with some minor injuries), so it’s been great. The weather was perfect with no rain days, everybody got along, and it was fun. There’s not many places that will let their employees come out to enjoy the weather, get to know each other and play like this.”

Since March 11, 18 games had been played (including the championship game). All 10 co-ed teams participated in a double-elimination bracket. The teams came from different SRPMIC departments and enterprises. They met during lunch hours at Friendship Park to continue their journey toward bragging rights and the chance to hold onto an autographed basketball trophy from the Phoenix Suns. The defending champions were the SRPMIC Human Resources Department.

In this year’s tournament, the Recreation Department’s “Wrecreation” team and the Casino Arizona team were the two finalists fighting for the championship title on April 2. The first half of the game ended with Casino Arizona dominating, 10-2. In the second half, Wrecreation nearly closed it up, trailing by only 2 points. During the final minute of the game, Wrecreation’s turnovers and missed baskets put Casino Arizona in the lead. Casino Arizona eventually won with a final score of 33-24.

“It was good and it was fun. This is my second year playing, and it was more competitive. I had a good time,” said Jessica Jim, a member of the Casino Arizona team.

“The Wellness March Madness tournament is always fun. We as a department enjoy coming together for the event every year and competing against other departments. We appreciate the [SRPMIC] Wellness Program for giving us a chance to step away from our desks and participate. We would like to thank every team that played, because without them there would be no tournament,” said Recreation Coordinator II David Willis, a Wrecreation team member. “We hope everybody continues to come out every year and just enjoy being around co-workers and friends. Good game Casino Arizona, see you next year!”

For more information about the Wellness March Madness Basketball Tournament, call Andrew Weiler at (480) 362-2673.

Wellness March Madness Basketball Tournament Teams

Casino Arizona (Champions)
Department of Corrections
Department of Transportation
Public Works
Robin’s Wrecking Crew
Trouble Shooters
Work Hard Play Hard
Wrecreation (Second Place)

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Fourth Annual Wellness March Madness Basketball Tournament