Sports

3-on-3 Lid Challenge back for its seventh year

The seventh annual Mercer Island 3-on-3 Lid Challenge will feature a 3-on-3 Hoop It Up World Champion.

Summer Celebration's ``tip-off'' event will take place Friday, July 8, with check-in at 3:45 p.m. and is presented by the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department. The event will feature some of the best youth basketball talent on the Island and the greater Seattle area. Both boys and girls will take to the courts at the Lid Park, as Debra Walker-Augurson will be Grand Marshall of the event. Walker-Augurson was a part of the 3-on-3 Hoop It Up World Championship team from 1998.

``Our kids have made this a terrific fun-filled event every year,'' said tournament director Bob Burmeister. ``Showcasing our youth is our goal again, plus we are delighted to introduce Debra Walker-Augurson to the Mercer Island community.''

This will not be the last time that youth athletes will see Walker-Augurson, as she was recently hired by the Parks and Recreation Department as a program instructor.

``We are even more excited that Debra will be available to our youth as a program instructor through the Parks and Recreation Department when our wonderful new facility is soon completed,'' said Burmeister.

Walker-Augurson recently was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. She was a first-team All-State player at South Bend's LaSalle High School. She went on to play her college career at the University of Missouri, where her teams won the Big-8 championship in 1983 and 1984. She has played professionally in France and Switzerland and has conducted camps and clinics since 1996 through her organization called Future Athletes of Tomorrow.

The 3-on-3 basketball experience has provided Walker-Augurson with some of her most exciting moments in organized basketball. After winning local and regional titles, her team of former University of Washington stars, Tara Davis and Laura Gonsalves, and Washington State University standout Kireen Ellis, beat Atlanta's regional champion, 16-14 in the Dallas semi-finals, to advance to the Court of Dreams Game in 1998. Their opponents, the Houston Comets, were led by two-time Womens National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, Cynthia Cooper, as well as Kim Perrot, Yolanda Moore and Monica Lamb. The Seattle team prevailed in a close game 19-17.

``My next `Court of Dreams' game will be the Lid Challenge,'' said Walker-Augurson. ``See you there.''

Entry forms are available at the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation offices at 236-3545, or by calling Bob Burmeister at 232-3502.

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