Basketball tourney moves to Saturday, downtown

The annual 3-on-3 summer basketball tournament on Mercer Island, part of Summer Celebration, will undergo many changes in trying to cater to its ongoing growth.

“We are going to have a lot more time to promote the event this year,” said Christa Lilly, an organizer of the event and Mercer Island girls basketball booster club member. “This year it will be an all-day tournament outdoors.”

Last year, the event was held in the Community Center at Mercerview’s gymnasiums. This year, the event will not only change location but also the day of the week. The Farmer’s Insurance parking lot will be the site this year. The move brings the tournament to downtown Mercer Island for the first time in its more than two decades of history. Another first will be the switch to Saturday from its traditional time on Friday night.

“Both of these things will make the 3-on-3 basketball tournament feel like it is more a part of Summer Celebration!,” said Lilly. “We will be done in time for all the kids to go and watch the fireworks.”

The Mercer Island High School boys and girls Basketball Booster Clubs took over the organization of the 3-on-3 tournaments last year in conjunction with the Mercer Island Parks and Rec., with 36 teams participating. Lilly hopes that the extra time to promote the event this year along with the date and place changes will allow the event to grow to upwards of 60 teams.

“We are doing a lot o outreach for the girls side since there are a lot more girls playing select basketball,” said Lilly. “We are also going to promote the event off Island. I would be nice to have kids from Bellevue, Newport and Issaquah come to the Island.”

The cost for a team of four players to signup for the tournament will be $80 and those teams will be placed into brackets based on age group. All proceeds benefit both basketball booster clubs.

Lilly said that event organizers are still working on getting some local celebrities for the event.

“Registration should begin in three weeks,” said Lilly.

Sing-up forms will be available at the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation’s Web site at or by calling 206-236-3545.

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