November 4, 2018 | Four years ago, we started out with four teams. This past weekend, fifty-three middle and high school girls and women came out to our 4th Annual Awesome 3-on-3 Jam to celebrate girls’ and women’s basketball in the Puget Sound, right before the winter season tips off! This year, Andrea Dang, a graduate of Redmond High School and a current student at University of Washington, became our first player to have competed in the high school division and now in the women’s division.We also enjoyed having twelve of our TABLA campers reunite and play at the tournament! We had our first middle school team compete in the high school division. We received our first hand-written medical waiver because Kadee Gray actually read the rules before she came in, and didn’t want to forfeit. We funded our first high school girl driven community project.
Each fall, we bring talented and inspiring women to play in front of middle and high school girls. Among so many accomplished women, we were graced by the presence of Darnellia Russell (featured in the acclaimed documentary “Heart of the Game”), Katie Collier (first woman from the state of Washington to be named McDonald’s All-American and competed in the NCAA Final Four in 2017), and Alex Montgomery (10th overall draft pick in the WNBA in 2011 and current member of the Chicago Sky). The competition started heating up on Saturday night when Victorious Secrets snuck Darnellia Russell onto their roster; and Alex Kenney and Bea almost got into a fight over their posts (or, really, over Katie Collier).
In the women’s division, a new team Victorious Secrets–which featured Kadee Gray (PLU, North Seattle), Nicole Buhl (North Seattle, Oklahoma Panhandle State University), Darnellia Russell (North Seattle), and Alex “Ace” Capeloto (Washington Athletic Club)–upended Alex Montgomery and Sarah Quantz’s two-year championship reign at the Awesome 3-on-3 Jam. The squad rained three’s all afternoon, and ended up with five wins and no losses. TaylorStrong came in 2nd place at 4-1.
In the high school division, the Riders (Roosevelt) and Cereal Killers (Redmond) were both undefeated in their pools, survived the semifinals, and met in the championship game. In their third appearance at the Awesome 3-on-3 Jam, the Riders, determined from the very beginning to bring home the swag, finally won the championship! The winning team members were: Ally O’Neil, Jaelyn Johnson, Claire Eggleston, Sofia Green and Karmelah Dean. The 2022 Panthers (Seattle Prep) defeated The Crossovers (Roosevelt and Eastside Catholic) to place in third. Kona Great Whites, TABLA campers and sophomore at Redmond High School, avenged an earlier loss to their high school freshmen team (Basketballbrawlers) to win the consolation bracket!
More than half of the girls and women took part in the free-throw and three-point contests. In the free-throw contest, we had our first middle schooler, Maggie L, enter the semi-finals. The contest came down to sudden death between Karmelah Dean (Roosevelt High School) and Charmaine Bradford (Northwest University), with Charmaine taking home the swag from our sponsor, Oiselle. The three-point contest ended up in a shoot out between the Asian shooters (obviously), Janelle Chow and Bea Chang, with Bea defending her title for the second straight year, hitting 15 three’s in a minute (and then her arm fell off).
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible once again. Thank you to all participants and donors. Thank you, also, to Erika Cliett for buying a $5 plum. Our Awesome 3-on-3 Jam believes in empowering the girls’ and women’s basketball community, and this year, we raised money to get our TABLA camper, Rowan Schaberg’s Pick n’ Role Model community project off the ground. In her own words: “Pick ‘n Role Models gives women’s basketball game tickets to girls basketball teams that might not be able to otherwise afford bringing their whole team to a game. Watching women’s basketball can be really motivating to young basketball players because they find inspiring role models to look up to and learn from. If more girls are exposed to women’s basketball, respect and love for the women’s game will grow so much.”
We truly enjoy the opportunity to bring such talented and passionate (not to mention hilarious) girls and women together, and watch new friendship blossom each year at our event. We are extremely excited to continue growing our community, for more laughs and loves for the game of basketball. We are already looking forward to our fifth anniversary. Please bring your friends and families!
Thank you to all those who planned, recruited, participated and balled out.
All professional photos are courtesy of Don Borin, at StopActionPhotography. For the full gallery, click here. Other photos are taken by participants, and my crappy phone circa 2013. Good luck to all this winter season!