Post submitted by Shaley Howard, HRC volunteer
On Saturday, July 20, Portland Women’s three-on-three Basketball Tournament benefiting HRC celebrated its fifth year. Thirty teams with over 100 women registered to play in the only women-only basketball tournament in Oregon.
"This is a premiere women’s tournament," said head referee Jeannie Watkins. "Not only does it raise thousands of dollars for equality, it promotes a wonderful atmosphere of sportsmanship, friendship, and an intrinsic love for the game of basketball. It has, and will remain, on my calendar every year."
This year’s tournament aimed to help raise funds for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and awareness of Oregon United for Marriage (OU4M), a broad coalition working toward marriage equality in the state.
"We’re so excited to be a part of the 5th Annual Portland Women’s three-one-three Basketball Tournament," said Juan Martinez, development director for OU4M’s parent organization Basic Rights Oregon. "This is one of several examples of how Oregon United for Marriage and HRC will be working together to build a winning campaign for marriage equality in Oregon."
For years the tournament has helped to raise awareness of the need for basic rights and equality for the LGBT community, as well as to promote women in sports.
"The Portland women’s three-on-three basketball tournament is easily one of Portland’s summer highlights," said tournament emcee and sports broadcaster Ann Schatz. "It’s a perfect blend of hoops at every turn: all ages and skill levels are represented for a full day of fun and competition, but what really separates this tournament is the community feel and outreach."
Having seen this tournament grow year after year, it’s truly an honor to see the enthusiasm from both the players and crowd each year. Many participants identify as athletes first and supporters of equality second, and by making them members, we try and engage them as best we can in our shared cause.