EAST WENATCHEE — The sixth annual Sunburn Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament went off without a hitch this past weekend. Tournament organizer JD Taylor said the new venue on Third Street in East Wenatchee was “absolutely amazing” in so many different ways.
“Our venue, once we put everything up, it was everything that we visualized. It is a gorgeous venue. There’s a view of the mountains,” Taylor said. “The response and excitement from the community in East Wenatchee were top notch. They really responded with the number of registrations that came in. The city welcomed the Sunburn to East Wenatchee with open arms.”
At most 3-on-3 tournaments, there is always something, Taylor said. However, that was not the case the Sunburn Classic this past weekend. Taylor said they had no complaints the entire weekend, which was “crazy.”
“The feedback was off the charts. People loved the venue. People that have been coming for all six years of the Sunburn, told us this was our best footprint. It was our best tournament, from setup to tear down,” he said.
For the first time in their six-year history, they had an extra day to set up. Taylor said that allowed them to do things differently. They did more stuff after the tournament like a cornhole tournament and barbecue with family.
Registrations were excellent, he said. They had about 90 teams, which was manageable for the staff in a new location. Next year, they’ll be ready for even more players.
It was windy over the weekend, but Taylor said that did not impact much.
“The wind really didn’t impact because the high winds did not kick up until after Saturday’s games were done. That’s when it really picked up. The winds didn’t affect too much. People were still taking the same kinds of shots,” he said. “We noticed a difference on Sunday with no wind. It was much, much hotter.”
The most competitive divisions at the tournament were the Boys HIgh School Elite, Men’s Elite and Men’s Rec. Two of the top high school players in the country were there too, Marjon Beauchamp and Earl Lee.
Beauchamp (6-foot-6, 175) played last year at Rainier Beach in Seattle, but he’s going to play at an Arizona prep school next year. He’s considered the top recruit in the country.
“You could definitely tell he was an All-American. He just does some things just like a pro,” Taylor said.
The dunk contest was the best ever, he said. The biggest surprise was a local kid, Eastmont senior Isaac Wellborn, the AAAA high jump champion.
“Isaac Wellborn from Eastmont surprised everybody. That kid put on a show. I’m a high jumper, but that kid really caught my eye. He did a really good job,” Taylor said. “Marjon won like expected, but Wellborn was most surprising. I’ve been around for a long time. He had me saying ‘wow.’ His hang time was great.”
There was no three-point contest, but Taylor said that is something they would like to add for next year, probably on Sunday. The attendance was “crazy good.”
Taylor said they saw more people coming to watch than they’ve ever had. People were hanging out and watching, taking advantage of the food vendor. Next year, they are looking to add more food vendors.
Tear down was a lot easier, he said. This time, it was a two-day process rather than one day. Certainly playing on Third Street in front of Eastmont High School was great because it was not a great traffic impact.
Next year, Taylor said they’ll do even better.
“We’ll add a couple more courts. This is the first year we’ve had coed teams, high school, and adult coed teams. We are super excited about that,” he said.