The New York Baller's men's team and the winning women's Spin team.
Basketball players traveled by land, sea and air to participate in this year's Coady Roundball Classic hosted by the Windy City Athletic Association ( WCAA ) .
Formerly the Chicago Hoops Classic, this 15-year-old tournament has, over time, changed not only its name, but the month it is held, coordinators and players. Yet despite all the changes, WCAA has managed to make it grow and improve each year. Perhaps that's why players come from as far as across the Atlantic Ocean every year to participate. The London Cruisers converged on Chi Town together with 29 other teams to play basketball over the April 7-8 weekend.
On Friday night WCAA held its awards dinner and ceremony including induction of new Hall of Fame members. These are people who have shown outstanding sportsmanship, support for gay/lesbian basketball, the tournament and the sport overall. This year's inductees were: Chicagoans, Mike McRaith and Tony Miller; Jon Swailes from Los Angeles; Steve Harrington hailing from Boston; Jim Oakley from San Francisco; and Frank Kisner, who claims allegiance to both LA and Chicago. Jim Flint was given honorary membership because of his long-time support and sponsorship.
After pool play on Saturday, the intense competition began early Sunday morning. By the end of the day, there were new champs in every division. The Men's Recreational ( Julius Ervin ) Division sent the Chicago Cavaliers and Mavericks ( a mixture of Chicago and Minneapolis guys ) to the ABA Bracket where Chicago was victorious 37-28. Both teams had been undefeated during pool play.
The teams headed to the championship game from the Women's Open ( Diana Tarasi ) Division were both from Chicago. After trailing for most of the game in the WNBA Bracket, second seed Charlie's Ale House rallied to tie the game with 35 seconds left. Despite their valiant effort, Spin surged ahead and won 49-45.
Meanwhile, in the Men's Open Division, four divisions were merged into two brackets. Los Angeles Freeze took down last year's champ New York Ballers 71-54 in the NCAA Bracket ( Chicago Hydrate were the other semifinalists ) . Fusion, comprised of players from all over the country, bested the San Francisco Rock Dogs 63-59 in overtime to take the NIT Bracket title. Chicago SPIN and