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Time for the Coady Classic
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2012-04-17

This article shared 2294 times since Tue Apr 17, 2012
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The Coady Roundball Classic, the largest and longest annual gay basketball tournament in the world, has gotten even bigger.

The 22nd annual Coady, as it's commonly called, will be played April 21-22 on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago—with 35 teams and 315 athletes registered to play on five courts for the National Gay Basketball Association's Championships. The event features three divisions, based on skill level: Men's Open, Men's Intermediate and Men's Recreational.

Each team is guaranteed four games in the tournament. Three games (per team) of pool play on Saturday determine seeding for a single-elimination tournament Sunday.

"The majority of teams usually play in the Intermediate Division, but we have a record number of Recreational teams this year (10)," said Coady co-director Jeff Edmonds, who has played in the event for 10 years.

The Coady attracts players from Washington D.C, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Memphis, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and elsewhere.

Chicago will be well-represented, naturally, with such teams as Chicago Butch Realness, Chicago Cougars, Chicago Gotcha Covered, Chicago Has-Bens, Chicago Junk Shot, Chicago Rec Specs and Chicago Sidetrack, among others.

Edmonds and Steve Waldron are the co-directors this year, as they were in 2011. Both have been involved as members of the event's informal board of directors for five years. Before them, Ted Cappas ran the Coady and, before Cappas, Sam Coady directed the tournament.

"The event just continues to grow, [the organizers] continue to do great things," with the event, Coady said. "There are now other gay basketball tournaments across the U.S., which wasn't the case when this [event] started; basketball has sort of become like softball [with multiple weekend tournaments across the U.S.]

"But I'm glad to see that so many from across the U.S. still comes to Chicago," for the Coady.

Coady himself won't be playing this year, for the second consecutive year, due to knee and hip injuries. "Hopefully I'll be back on the court next year," he said.

Coady will have only missed playing in three of the 22 tournaments.

"The younger generation is so much more comfortable with who they are and there is so much more of a supportive environment. This [event] is now just one of many LGBT events for people to participate in," Coady said. "One of the really telling signs about the event is that it's not just LGBT players; there are straight, [gay-friendly] players too, in all divisions, including [straight] brothers [of a gay sibling.]"


This article shared 2294 times since Tue Apr 17, 2012
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