It's a Hoop-It-Up weekend at O-rena

by Tim Povtak - The Orlando Sentinel (10/5/96)

Nearly 4,000 Central Florida basketball players of all shapes and skill levels will be involved this weekend in the Hoop-It-Up World Tour outside Orlando Arena. Yet only a handful will take it as seriously as Constantine Pergantis.

For most, it will be a fun weekend of 3-on-3 recreational basketball. For Pergantis, it will be all business.

Pergantis, from the Washington, D.C., area, will import two teams, and play on one, in the Top Gun Division, the best of the nearly 80 divisions that will be competing.

"We take it seriously," said Pergantis, whose teams are both called Nite Lites after his lighting business. "We're probably coming in there as one of the favorites."

While basketball courts wil1 be set up outside Orlando Arena, there will be plenty of activity inside, too.

Fandemonium '96 --- a two-day fan fest that covers basketball and hockey-wil1 be open to the public both days. It will include interactive games, entertainment, basketball and hockey clinics, and locker-room tours. It serves as a tipoff to the seasons for the Orlando Magic and Orlando Solar Bears.

As part of Fandemonium, fans can try on the jerseys and shoes worn by Penny Hardaway and Horace Grant, participate in basketball and hockey skil1 games, and bid in a silent auction for sports memorabilia.

Outside the arena, the competition wil1 be heated, especially in that Top Gun Division. Joining Pergantis on his Nite Lites team wil1 be Johnny Williams, a 6-foot-3 guard and brother of NBA draft pick Jerome Wi1liams (Detroit); and David Saunders, a 6-8, 240-pounder from Atlanta.

Pergantis's second Nite Lites team wil1 compete in the Top Gun regional competition that also will be played in Orlando this weekend. The regional competition will include 12 teams from the South that already have won one of the top level Hoop-It-Up competitions.

The winners of the regional advance to finals Oct. 2-27 in Venice Beach, Calif.


Fandemonium '96

  • WHAT: Hoop-It-Up World Tour.
  • WHAT: Fandemonium '96, a two day fan fest featuring Orlando Magic and Orlando Solar Bears organizations. Included will be interactive games, entertainment, special events, basketball and dance clinics and locker room tours.
  • WHERE: Outside Orlando Arena.
  • WHERE: Inside Orlando Arena.
  • WHO: About 4,000 basketball players of all levels.
  • WHO: Public invited.
  • WHAT: 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
  • COST: $5 adults, $3 children under 12. Tickets available at the Magic FanAttic and all ticketmaster outlets.
  • WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Sunday.
  • WHEN: 11 am.-8 p.m. today; 11a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
  • NOTE: In case of inclement weather, organizers still would like participants to show up. The 3-on-3 tournament would be modified.

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