Defending men's champ heads weekend Hoop-It-Up field
3-on-3 games could draw 15,000 at Camden Yards

By Danielle Rumore


The team that won the top men's division of the Hoop-It-Up stop in Baltimore last year will defend its title as the three-on-three street basketball event makes its seventh-straight stop here this weekend..

The team of Davon Kelly, James Lavala, Johnnie Williams and Kevin Herod, known as the Nite Lites, shot the lights out of the men's Top Gun division last year.

The same players, who have playing experience at the college level, also won tour stops in Richmond, Va., and Miami last year.

This year, games today and tomorrow at the Camden Yards parking lots are expected to draw more than 15,000 spectators and approximately 3,000 participants, organizers said.

The NBA-supported event, which will be contested in 45 cities this year, began as a charity event in Dallas in 1986 and continues to benefit local charities in each city it visits. Part of the proceeds here will benefit local high schools.

"The goal of the event is to give everyone a chance to play regulated ball," said Amy Nelson, public relations manager at Streetball Partners International in Dallas. "[It creates] an atmosphere of NBA events."

Hoop-It-Up competition is divided into seven divisions for men and women. Single-sex and co-ed teams are each composed of four players and are guaranteed three games in a double-elimination format.

The winning teams from Top Gun will advance to regional competition with the opportunity to qualify for the world finals.

Baltimore's Top Gun winners will move on to the regionals in Washington, D.C., Sept 20-21. The world finals will be played Oct. 25-26.

The winners of the world finals will play a game of three-on-three against former NBA players in the Nike Court of Dreams.

Originally Published on 6/14/97

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