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Dolphin court classic, No. 34, tips off Friday

By Don Fennell

Published 2:52 PDT, Mon July 8, 2019

On the heels of the Toronto Raptors ascent to the top of the basketball world, one of Canada’s favourite grassroots events returns to Richmond this weekend.

Tipping off at 5 p.m. Friday at South Arm Community Centre, it’s year 34 of the three-day Dolphin Basketball Classic, a four-on-four playground-style hoops tournament that started in 1986 as a one-day battle for bragging rights among a group of local athletes who’d just graduated from Richmond high schools.

Today frequently mentioned in the same breath as such iconic streetball courts as Rucker Park, Venice Beach and Susquehanna, Dolphin retains the charm and simplicity of its neighbourhood roots (the first tournament was played at the small outdoor court on Dolphin Avenue) despite having grown into an annual summer tradition merging some of the best streetballers and hardwood players around. And once again, it’s NCAA certified.

“I can’t believe this is the 34th annual,” says Steveston High grad Bruce Watson, who has been a key organizer of the tournament since day one.

XFalcons, winners of four of the last six men’s titles, are back to defend their championship after defeating G2 73-63 in last year’s final. And Original Grandmas will also be back to defend the women’s title, edging Fusion 53-52 in last year’s title game.

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