With the Utah Jazz officially becoming a sponsor of this year's Coca Cola Roundball Ruckus 3-on-3 basketball tournament, things should get even more interesting especially with the designation of Ron Boone as the tournament's official spokesperson.
Boone, now a broadcast analyst for the Jazz broadcasting network which includes radio, TV and cable TV, is a former NBA and ABA star.When asked to characterize 3-on-3 basketball, Boone said: "It reminds me of the developing stages of the game when we were all learning the fundamentals. Now it's more of a strategy game with one team trying outlast the other."
Boone also said that 3-on-3 basketball is growing tremendously in popularity. The number of teams in the second annual Roundball Ruckus tournament in Salt Lake City is expected to double last year's talley and exceed 600.
"The most exciting thing about 3-on-3 basketball is that it's not just something you can do at a young age," said Boone. "I'm really looking forward to it because it takes you back to the schoolyard."
Ron Boone will be playing in celebrity games and on an over-40 team along with University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus.
Roundball Ruckus, sponsored by Coca Cola and the Utah Jazz and presented by Deseret News, KSTU, KISN, 7-11, Dan's Foods, Hardee's, Continental Airlines and Meadow Gold, will be held June 6, 7 & 8 at the 49th Street Galleria parking lot.
The entry fee is $60 per team which consists of four players. Promoters indicate that "everyone can play," meaning that there are over 35 divisions for players of all ages and skill levels, including women and an over 40 division.
Dave Hrechkosy of Coca Cola says he is receiving about 50 calls per day from teams all over the state. "We've received an entry this week from a team of 15 year old girls from Shiprock Arizona who call themselves the Four Corners, so you can see the tournament is really taking off."
Sponsors are also providing a number of special activities, including a slam dunk contest for those over 6 ft. and under 6 ft.
Every player gets a T-shirt and is invited to the pre-game party with their family members on Wednesday, June 5, at the 49th Street Galleria. Free Coke products, ice cream and hot dogs will be served.
A number of trips will be provided by Continental Airlines that will include trips to Utah Jazz games next year.
Depending on the NBA playoff picture, a number of Jazz players are slated to make appearances as well.
Out of town players will receive a special room rate at the Reston Hotel located near the 49th Street Galleria.
A portion of the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which received a check last year for $6,023. Volunteers are needed to help with the tournament. Anyone interested should call the MDA at 944-1601.
The deadline for registering is May 21, and registration forms are available at all Dan's, Hardee's and 7-11s. Questions about the tournment are being taken at 530-5310.
"Roundball Ruckus is going to be great. I mean, where else can you play on the streets and in a parking lot without fear of being run over or being run off by the cops?" said Boone.