BUTTE — It was part basketball bonanza, part block party on Granite Street in Butte on Saturday.
Some 216 players — ranging in age from fourth grade through adults — spread out across 72 teams got to work on 10 half courts spread out east of Main Street on toasty Saturday afternoon at the first Uptown Hoops 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
The two-day event will crown eight division champions on Sunday.
The idea for the tournament came from Keegan McCarthy — a local realtor and former Montana Tech basketball player — and his wife Kayla.
"Late last summer we put a good team together to tackle some tasks," McCarthy said. "From there we just started planning and tackling things and here we are."
From elementary kids, to high school varsity players to college athletes, there was plenty of variety among the teams.
Some of the high school players said they felt playing on asphalt instead of hardwood was a good change of scenery, though with one caveat.
"I hate falling down on (asphalt), it hurts a lot," said Billy Farmer, a member of the Smelter City Ballers and a junior at Anaconda High School. "But it's great, it's a lot more physical."
The hope is that the Uptown Hoops tournament becomes an annual event and a staple of the Butte summer schedule. With the solid turnout on Saturday, that goal seems well within reason.
"It's really awesome that the city here in Butte has backed this up, closed the streets down," said Charlie Farmer, the Smelter City coach. "This is kind of like a mini hoop fest that can only get better as the years go by."
Said McCarthy: "Yeah, we want this to snowball every year and we want to grow every year from here on out."