December 18, 2012 -- PUERTO VALLARTA TOURNAMENT REVIEW
The inaugural editions of the Hardwood Tournament of Hope and the Hoops for Hope Classic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, are in the books with great foundations put into place for what are planned as annual Thanksgiving week basketball events in this Pacific coast resort community.
The two first-year tournaments drew 15 teams from 14 schools in 12 states as tourney entries descended into this relaxed seaside setting from the Pacific Northwest to Florida and from the East Coast to Southern California for a week of basketball fun and sun. The state of the art International Convention Center of Puerto Vallarta was the tournament site.
Connor Sports Court, an official sponsor of the tournament, manufactured a unique new tournament game floor based on the legendary Boston Celtics playing court. The parquet floor is the only one of its type to be used in any collegiate pre-season or post-season tournament. The practice floor itself had been used previously in the 2012 NCAA regional tournament games.
Louisville captured the women's tourney from Tuesday through Thursday of Thanksgiving week as the Cardinals of Coach Jeff Walz posted double-digit victories over Central Florida, Gonzaga and Oregon State. Louisville was ranked sixth in the country coming into the meet.
All-tournament selections for the women's meet included Whitney Edie of Missouri State, Patricia Bright of Oregon State, Jazmine Redmon of Gonzaga, Sara Hammond of Louisville and DeQuesha McClanahan of Winthrop.
The Most Outstanding Player and member of the all-tournament team was Shoni Schimmel of Louisville.
Beyond Louisville's championship in the women's meet, Gonzaga bested Winthrop for third, Missouri State came back with two wins in the consolation bracket and beat UC Santa Barbara for fifth place and Central Florida topped Mississippi State for seventh place.
PlanBC3 has worked for the past two years to put the tournaments with a goal of creating awareness and monetary assistance for the National Urea Cycle Disorders Foundation (NUCDF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the identification, treatment and cure of urea cycle disorders. UCD's are caused by genetic mutations resulting in the deficiency of one of six enzymes in the urea cycle which are responsible for the removing ammonia from the bloodstream. Failure of the system to remove the ammonia can result in irreversible brain damage or death.
Tournament sponsors for the event in Puerto Vallarta included Connor Sports Flooring, the Missouri Valley Conference, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Occidental Grand Nuevo Hotel Vallarta, North American Travel, Triple Threat Travel, Corona Extra, NUCDF and PlanBC3.
The tournament staff included about three dozen volunteers from all over the country and fans of all 14 schools followed their teams to Mexico. The teams and their staffs were treated to a lavish welcome banquet on the eve of each tournament on the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel.
Preparations and team selection are underway for the 2013 editions of the two tournaments as the events will get only bigger and better. Those teams will be announced in early 2013.
HARDWOOD TOURNAMENT OF HOPE GAME SUMMARY
Tuesday, November 20
Oregon State 49, UC Santa Barbara 46
Winthrop 61, Mississippi State 59
Louisville 94, Central Florida 73
Gonzaga 80, Missouri State 66
Wednesday, November 21
UC Santa Barbara 60, Mississippi State 43
Oregon State 68, Winthrop 64
Missouri State 83, Central Florida 75
Louisville 55, Gonzaga 42
Thursday, November 22
7TH--Central Florida 64, Mississippi State 56
5TH--Missouri State 68, UC-Santa Barbara 61
3RD--Gonzaga 80, Winthrop 66
1ST--Louisville 61, Oregon State 43