‘It just keeps getting better’: Summer Slam scores points with Winnipeg basketball community

Dunks, lay-ups and corner threes. All things basketball are front and centre at The Forks this Canada Day weekend.

Summer Slam 2024, a collaboration between Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and Peg City Basketball, is celebrating the sport and its place in Canadian culture with tournaments, family-friendly activities, and other events on and near the CN Stage and Field.

“It’s really for the basketball community, the community in general, and the culture of basketball,” Peg City’s co-director Bryce McDonald told CTV News. “You see the diversification we have playing on Treaty One territory with people from all cultures and ends of the world.”

Summer Slam 2024 is headlined by a three-on-three tournament under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) rules. It’s a fast-paced race to 21 points played on a half court.

“The only time the ball stops moving is when it goes out of bounds,” McDonald explained.

This year’s tournament features a wide range of youth, men’s and women’s teams. McDonald said it speaks to the sport’s growing popularity throughout the province.

“The amount of enthusiasm by the players – it just keeps getting better,” McDonald said. “And when you play tougher competition, you have to get better. And that’s what it’s really proving out.”

While some of Manitoba’s elite hoopsters are playing during the three-day event, McDonald said Summer Slam 2024 serves as a catalyst to introduce kids to the sport. Basketball nets are set up at The Forks and anyone is welcome to shoot around.

“You can play at whatever completion level you want,” McDonald said. “Just be active and enjoy the game. There’s always a role for you on a basketball court.”

Summer Slam 2024 wraps up on Canada Day. More information is available online.

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