The outdoor basketball courts were rocking all weekend long at the MSA Arena, and the return of the MSA Outdoor Classic basketball tournament is expected to be permanent.
Eight teams made up of local players duelled on the concrete from Friday to Sunday at the event, which was brought back to Abbotsford by locals Jamie Konrad, Matt Brar, Cody Lawlor, and Mitch Howden.
The original tournament was played back in the 1980s, but Brar said after a successful first year the tournament is here to stay.
“It went really great,” he said of the event. “I think everyone loved it and people were telling me they couldn’t wait for next year.”
The format saw the eight teams separated into two pools for round-robin play. Each team played three games in the round robin, with the top four teams squaring off in a final four to determine a winner.
Sunday’s final saw Private Barbershop defeat the OGs 60-50 to win the championship. Private Barbershop, named after a recently opened up a barbershop in Abbotsford, were led by tournament most valuable player Marek Klassen, who had 21 points in the championship game.
Tuesday Nights defeated the Purple Cobras 81-41 in the third-place game.
The event helped raise over $3,200 for Canucks Place Children’s Hospice in Abbotsford through team fees and donations.
Brar said next year he hopes to expand the event to include more teams of all ages and genders. He said he’d like to see a men’s elite division, with teams from Fraser Valley post-secondary schools like UFV, CBC and TWU. He added that there could also be a men’s recreational division, a female division and a U17 division.
He’d also like to see improvements made to the courts to enhance the tournament.
“We’re meeting with the city in about a week and we’d potentially like to get a second court there,” he said. “We could also use new backboards and either move or get rid of the fences along the baselines.”
Brar said the event would not have been possible without the hard work of local volunteers and sponsors.
“The volunteers did a great job for us,” he said. “All the officiating, scorekeeping and concession stands were run by volunteers. And our sponsors helped make sure this event could happen through their support.”