Eighty teams enjoy Vibes
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
EIGHTY teams, featuring players of all ages and backgrounds, took to the courts to ensure Gladstone's first Vibes 3on3 basketball challenge last weekend was a hit.
Event co-ordinator Claude Williams was thrilled with the harbour city's response to the two-day Aboriginal youth festival staged at the Gladstone Multi-Purpose Sports Centre and Memorial Park basketball courts.
"The participation level has been outstanding for a first-time event,'' Williams said. "It's one of the biggest first-time events in the history of 3on3.''
Williams, who played for the National Basketball League outfit the Sydney Supersonics in the 1970s and 1980s, also went on to coach the Sydney Kings and Newcastle Falcons in the NBL ? meaning he is a good judge of basketball talent.
"There's a lot of talent in Gladstone,'' he said. "Being an ex-NBL coach ... I know what to look for and I know talent when I see it, and there's a lot of it here.
"The event doesn't cost kids a thing so it's great just to see them here and see all the smiles on their faces.''
He said former Harlem Globe Trotter "Smiling'' Dwayne Cross was a hit with the youngsters, likening his popularity to the fabled Pied Piper with a string of kids constantly following him.
Williams, who also played on the wing in the early 1970s for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the then New South Wales Rugby League premiership, said the support of the Gladstone community had been vital in the successful staging of the event with a return to Gladstone in the near future likely.