Families, friends compete against all comers at Snoqualmie Ridge basketball tourney

For basketball fans, Snoqualmie Ridge was the place to be last Saturday, July 17.

More than 150 teams, comprising several hundred players, converged on the streets fronting Snoqualmie Community Park for the fourth annual Snoqualmie Casino 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Locals such as the McDonald family of Snoqualmie joined teams from Spokane and Portland for competition on makeshift courts.

For the McDonalds, the tournament was about having fun as a team.

“We all love basketball,” said player Fran McDonald, who was joined by sister Alice, brother Tommy and cousin Baker Borgen, a former Mount Si boys’ basketball player. “It’s just a chance for us to get together and enjoy the game.”

The Snoqualmie tournament is growing for two reasons.

“The coolest thing about our event is that we appeal to kids and families,” promoter Jeff Orswell said. “At the same time, we’re appealing to some of the region’s elite players.”

Among Valley teams competing, young and old, was the “Fab Four,” a group of incoming sixth grade players coached by former Mount Si boys’ basketball assistant coach Doug Hockenbury. Hockenbury was looking to get these youths some good competition.

“For several years I’ve come up just to watch the games up here and it looks awful fun. So this year, we thought, ‘Hey, let’s put a team together,’” Hockenbury said. “It’s a new experience and it’s a good experience for these guys to play.”

For Orswell and his company, getting it all set up is a huge undertaking.

“Building 30 basketball courts from scratch in the middle of city streets is no easy feat, and there’s a lot of math and a lot of planning that goes into the bracketing system,” Orswell said. At the end of the day, the Valley will benefit, and that is his goal.

“We want to expand on our ability to give back to the community,” Orswell said. He plans a cash donation to the Si View community fund to establishing scholarships for children who can’t otherwise afford to play organized basketball.

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