By Beth Spain
A basketball dribbling down the court is not a frequent sound at 1 a.m., but neither is 80 people in the gym of the Bowld Student Commons at that hour a regular sight. This is the face of the three new mini-leagues’ late Wednesday night 3-on-3 basketball tournaments.
The idea was formulated when Luke Pruett, resident director of the Quads, and Blake Pennington, intramural coordinator and assistant resident director of the Heritage Complex, wanted opportunities to interact with male students.
“It gives us an avenue to make contact with guys we care about,” Pruett said.
After the mini-leagues were announced during a building meeting, the response was greater than many had imagined. Seven 3-man teams and an estimated 40 spectators brought the first tournament to a close at 1:15 a.m.
Pruett, along with Cory Poston, senior Christian Studies major, and Jarad Russell, assistant residence director of the Heritage Complex, were the first 3-on-3 titleholders.
Popularity increased the following week as 17 teams battled to win the tournament, an estimated 80 participants altogether. This time the games did not finish until 1:45 a.m.
The tournament is a “one-pool play” Pruett said. This means each team is guaranteed two games, speeding the elimination process. Pruett said he hoped this different approach would wrap up the games by 1 a.m.
Pruett said he does not expect the crowd to stay large for long. With flu season, rush and academics, he said he expected participation to shrink.
“They don’t have to commit to it, but know it’s available,” Pruett said.
However, Pruett said it was not an event to which teams could arrive late. If the whole team was not present by start time, they would not play.
In addition to 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, Pruett and Pennington have started ultimate Frisbee games on Thursdays at 3 p.m. in the Watters Quad and Friday disc golf rounds at 3 p.m.