NEW YORK - New York is known as the 'Mecca' of basketball — but the real ones know the legend starts on the public playground courts in the summer. One iconic basketball tournament has a twist on your traditional NYC streetball games, plus it's perfect for a heat wave.
"It's considered the 'streetball's Mount Everest,'" says Co-CEO Randy Cruz. "You come out here, it's hot, it's windy, it's the conditions... you try to win a championship. It's not easy."
'Hoops in the Sun' All-Star Weekend is in its 22nd year. The iconic tournament is held every summer at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.
"We are a beachside venue that has one of the most powerful tournaments in New York City," says Co-CEO JoeCruz Junior. "If not the tri-state area."
Cruz and his brother co-CEO the tournament, they grew up going to Orchard Beach with their father: Joe "Pops" Cruz. The tournament was his vision--inspired by a trip to Venice Beach, California over two decades ago--and the Cruz brothers have vowed to keep their father's legacy going.
"We are considered the East Coast, Venice beach," says Joe. "We love it what Venice Beach does, but we want to do what we do over here and with us see New Yorkers it's about flair, about flavor, it's about cultures, about neighborhoods and it's about a melting pot of people coming together. So Hoops in the Sun doesn't have a neighborhood. We have many neighborhoods that we represent--and that's what makes Hoops in the Sun so different compared to others."
The tournament features everything from elite team play of all ages to both a men's and women's 3-point contest--and this year also featured a women's pro-league All-Star Game.