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First annual Latino hoops tourney tips-off in Mabton

MABTON - Playing in an all-Latino basketball tourney in Woodburn, Ore. was so much fun that brothers Sam and Adrian Olivarez decided to bring the idea to Mabton.

"We've been playing in tournaments most of our lives," said Sam Olivarez. He said Mabton hasn't had a basketball tourney since sometime in the 1980's.

That will change June 9-11 when the Olivarez brothers put on the first annual Latino 5-on-5 Basketball Tournament. That same weekend is Mabton's Community Days celebration.

The tourney, in which all players must be of Latino descent, will be held in the Mabton Jr./Sr. High School gym.

Olivarez said team sign-ups and entry fees of $250 must be in by May 31. There is no limit to the number of players that a team can have. "They can bring 10 players if they want," he said.

A trophy and free entry into next year's tourney will be awarded to the overall winner of the tournament. There will be a runner-up trophy, and possible t-shirts for competitors.

Proceeds from the team entry fees will be designated for Mabton's AAU youth basketball program, said Olivarez.

A tourney schedule will be posted in the week following the May 31 registration deadline, he noted, and players must be at least 18 years of age.

There is no upper limit on how old a player can be.

"If they can still run up the court that's fine with me," Olivarez laughed.

Admission fee to the general public will be $2 per person.

For more information on the tourney, or to register a team, contact Olivarez at 509-894-5498.

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