Teams of three will soon be shooting from downtown — while in downtown.
The 300-block of Victoria Street will transform into four basketball courts for Bank3, a three-on-three basketball tournament being held on Saturday and Sunday, along with a back-alley block party.
The free-to-attend basketball games begin at 9 a.m. each day and will run until 4 p.m. Beer gardens, placed between two sets of courts, will be open throughout the day.
Organizer Jesse Faubert said the idea stems from the success of similar tournaments elsewhere — and comes at a time when Canadians are riding high on the success of the Toronto Raptors, who are now taking part in the NBA Finals.
“Having seen other sporting events and events that have closed down Victoria Street, I always thought it’d be a really interactive thing. It’s really easy to watch and approachable,” he said.
Faubert cited past events — such as Brewloops and the Royal Cup road hockey tournament — for making his tournament possible.
“Brewloops has done such an incredible job at opening the doors for the city being comfortable with shutting down blocks for things,” he said.
Another event cited by Faubert is Hoopfest — the annual three-on-three tournament held in Spokane, Wash., that has grown to be the world’s largest, encompassing 45 city blocks with more than 6,000 teams and 225,000 people in attendance.
Faubert said he’s happy with the number of participants that have signed up — 32 teams in all — and although the event is no Hoopfest, he has sought advisors from that event to look at Kamloops’ capacity for a larger tournament.
“The landscape of downtown Kamloops is surprisingly flat, so in terms of scaling it, there’s a lot of room for growth,” Faubert said.
A youth football coach himself, Faubert said he wanted the proceeds for the event to go to something he cared about, and with the help of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, brought Freshslice Pizza on as the event’s title sponsor, along with its Freshslice Cares charity, which will distribute the funds to sports associations in the community.
Registered teams for the event paid $200 each to attend.
Once the street ball beefs have been squashed, partygoers can head north to a back alley and parking lot off Lansdowne Street, where a host of activities is planned as part of the Summer League Block Party, a ticketed event running concurrently.
The block party event includes fitness classes from noon to 4 p.m. and live music and mural painting by local artists from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., with local breweries and restaurants taking part.
On Saturday, bands on the docket include local acts At Mission Dolores and The Houses (Where We Grew Up) with Post-Modern Connection from Kelowna and Wrecked Beach from Vancouver. Sunday’s music will be more hip hop focused, with artists from Vancouver, Calgary and Kamloops.
Block party tickets are available for $20 each or $30 for a weekend pass, online at ninthcompany.com.