HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- Bible Baptist Church will host its third annual 3-on-3 tournament basketball  on Saturday, September 16. The tournament is open to players in grades nine through 12. Last year the tournament drew 12 teams from surrounding towns.

The tournament runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration opens at 9 a.m.; games start at 10 a.m. There will be trophies, MVPs and giveaways. Players will be provided pizza. There is no registration fee and no admission.

Guest speaker will be Dan Occhiogrosso, motivational speaker and basketball expert. He is a teacher at Memorial High School in West New York. He and Morales have also worked with the Hope + Future Center opened by Gian Paul Gonzalez, a motivational speaker who recently spoke at the Gridiron State Summer Football camp in Hasbrouck Heights.

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It is a two-game elimination tournament. There will be two half-court games running at a time. There will be 15 minute running clock, and games will be played to 12 points.

“It’s an outreach to the town and the surrounding communities,” said Chris Morales, coordinator. 

Morales is assisted by his wife, Evette Morales, who coordinates the game match-ups, and trainers/coaches Ethan Kennedy and Robert Garcia from the Monday Night Sports ministry. Kennedy is a former basketball player at Division I Coppin State University in Baltimore and Division II Felician College in Rutherford.

“We have great trainers,” Morales said. “We are able to relate to the kids through our life experience.”

Morales is a 2001 graduate of Hasbrouck Heights High School where he played both JV and varsity basketball.

The tournament part of the Monday night Sports Ministry that Morales runs along with Kennedy and Garcia. It is open to youth players from middle school (fifth/sixth grade) through high school and runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It consists of training in the fundamentals of basketball, a conditioning program and shared devotional. It is offered free to any player.

Morales recognizes the growing popularity and expense of the game.

“Basketball is a great game and a great sport. A lot of kids want to train and are into basketball but training is very, very expensive,” he said. “We offer it for free because it’s tough for their parents to pay for it (training).”

"My goal is to reach out to the kids with the gift that God has given me that is beyond the game of basketball," he said. "we want to bring more kids in, to get kids connected."

For more information about the 3-on-3 tournament or Monday night Sports Ministry, contact Chris Morales at bballin4christ@gmail.com.