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BY KERRY EGGERS/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Tourney proceeds to help underserved children, families

The Trail Blazers' sixth annual Rip City 3-on-3, set for July 27 and 28 at the Rose Quarter, is expected to draw more than 600 teams and more than 2,000 players competing on 50 courts spread across the campus.

But the event is more than just a basketball competition. It's a summer happening in Portland.

"We have divisions for men and women, for every age group and skill level," says Todd Bosma, the Blazers' veteran director of game operations and events. "If you're interested in playing basketball, come on down.

"But it's not just basketball. For two days, we transform the Rose Quarter commons into a festival. We have food vendors, music and all sorts of activities. We're expecting 5,000 to 6,000 people to come through the commons throughout the weekend to watch or be a part of the action."

There are divisions for men's, women's and co-ed teams. There is a children's division, a wheelchair division, a unified division, a division for 40-and-up and an elite division. Winners in the latter category (both men's and women's) are eligible to claim a $1,000 cash prize.

There also are accompanying events, including a Nike youth basketball clinic, Toyota skills contest, 3-point shootout and a Sprite slam dunk contest. There is also a layup contest for kindergarten-age kids, using an eight-foot hoop and a smaller ball.

"We want to make sure everybody is having fun," Bosma says. "You never know who will show up. Last year, (Blazer center) Jusuf Nurkic was a judge for the slam-dunk contest. We try to have our broadcasters be on the microphone for some of the championship games.

"Included in the cost is a participant's T-shirt, a ticket for a Blazers preseason game and a great weekend of basketball."

Proceeds from the event go to the Trail Blazers Foundation, with the mission to "impact kids and families where they live, learn and play."

Last year, funds were distributed to eight or nine nonprofit organizations in the Portland area.

Registration is open until July 14 at ripcity3on3.com.

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@kerryeggers


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