LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – If you are looking for the name of the Boston Celtics of summer outdoor basketball in town, there is one nominee – Wayne's World.
Six times they gathered downtown to win the old Street Ball Showdown 3-on-3 tournament, overcoming asphalt burns, unforgiving heat, sharp elbows and talented former players from local colleges across the area to win the Open Division.
Street Ball Showdown disappeared. So did Wayne's World.
But the Hoop It Up 3 on 3 Tournament, with WDRB as a partner, has filled the summer basketball gap. The 2012 tournament, which is being played Saturday and Sunday on Muhammad Ali Boulevard between Sixth and Seventh streets, features 102 teams and nearly 450 players as it celebrates its eighth year.
Guess which team is ignoring the data on their birth certificates while they grind their way through the Top Gun Division?
Wayne's World – or Wayne's World 3.1.1 to use their official team name.
That's 3 as in three original team members – David Scott, Sean Gibson and Scott Williams, plus newcomers Mo Smith (.1) and J.J. Kiesler (.1).
"I'll be hurting like crazy for about a week after this," said Gibson, a star on the Floyd Central team that made the 1989 Indiana State Finals. "I took three Advils to start the day."
"It's just fun to be playing basketball with your friends again," said Scott, who starred at Graceland Christian and Miami (Ohio) before playing professionally overseas. "We have a lot of great memories doing these tournaments together."
Indeed. It was the memories that ignited this reunion. Gibson is 40, Scott 42. They still play basketball throughout the winter in local recreational leagues, but they had given up the summer circuit. Asphalt is not a friend of sore joints, especially knees and ankles.
In November 2010 they lost a friend when Eric Agnew died unexpectedly in Southern Indiana. At Agnew's wake, they discussed making their 3 on 3 comeback – to honor their friend.
They competed last summer in the 30-and-Over division. They were concerned they no longer had the energy to chase fresher legs across the asphalt for two steamy days. They won their division. They reassessed.
With the encouragement of Wayne Timbs, their sponsor for more than two decades, they moved into the Top Gun Division this weekend, roaring to a 21-6 victory in their opening game Saturday morning.
"We kind of looked at the competition after we finished last year and said, ‘We can do this,' " said Timbs. "I love the game of basketball as much as they do. As long as they're willing to do this, I'm happy to do it with them."
Teams from Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Lexington are competing against local players. Dona Smith, the event organizer, said some teams have started planning family reunions around the annual event.
But there is no reunion like the reunion of Wayne's World. Gibson provides the bulk and inside muscle. Williams loves to set up teammates. Smith can shoot or attack the rim off the dribble. Scott can do everything – and never takes a bad shot. Kiesler finished their opening victory with a monstrous dunk.
"We never know who we have to play next," Gibson said. "We just figure they're going to be younger than us.
"We'll feel the effects of this pretty good for the next week. But today we're having a lot of fun."
Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All rights reserved.