The weekend of May 3-5 has been set for the ninth annual Spiece Run 'N Slam
All-Star Classic. Following a seven-year run with Purdue University as the host
campus, the Run 'N Slam AAU tournament moved to the recently Spiece Fieldhouse
in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the 2001 tournament. Year two in Fort Wayne begins
this year, and the facilities prove a more than adequate host for the large
assortment of teams and players.
The Spiece Fieldhouse is the home for the numerous Spiece tournament that
have been held around the state over the years. The 150,000 square foot facility
boasts eight regulation wooden floored courts and three smaller courts for youth
basketball. The air-conditioned facility also has a second floor observation
deck and a restaurant. Teams can also be housed at the site, with room for
480 players and 80 coaches. A Spiece Superstore and a health club are all part
of the new facility.
As large as the Fieldhouse may be, the 2002 Spiece Run 'N Slam will again be
held at several off-site locations. Gyms will also be used at IPFW, Dwenger,
Snider, Carroll, Concordia and Northrop high schools.
The 2001 Run 'N Slam continued the tradition of being the premier spring AAU
tournament. After swelling to 136 teams in 1999, tournament organizers made an
effort to limit the size of the tournament. The 2002 tournament will host 124
team from across the nation. The senior division has 48 teams participating
this year, joined by 44 junior teams and 32 sophomore teams. A limit of 104
teams was set for the tournament this year, but greater than usual junior
and sophomore team registration inflated the final number.
Play will begin Friday evening at 7:00pm, 8:00am Saturday, and 8:00am Sunday.
Each team in each pool will play one another, and then all teams will advance
to a single elimination championship tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Each
team is guaranteed at least 4 games, and could play as many as 10 over the course
of the weekend.
Pool assignments and schedules are subject to change for this year's tournament,
due to last minute team additions and few teams dropping out. Those attending should
check the master board inside the Fieldhouse upon arrival to check the current
schedules and pool assignments. The tournament is open to the public.
Rosters are turned into tournament officials a month in advance of the tournament
and tend to undergo changes before day one. Keep in mind that the construction of most
teams will change throughout the course of the weekend. Saturday is a major SAT
testing day, so some players will go to local sites Saturday morning to take the
exam. Saturday night is also prom night for many of the juniors and seniors, so the
players that can get back to their high schools may only play on Friday, then return
on Sunday after prom. The only way to make sure to catch the players you wish to see
is to try and stay for two days, preferrably Friday night into Saturday.
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