It looks like Seattle will have some March Madness of its own when the Academic Sports Program at Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) sponsors the first-ever Pan Asian Goodwill Basketball Tournament on March 25 through 27.
But this is not an ordinary youth league. The tournament includes Asian American players who are 30 years-old and up. The goal is to bring together working adults from different Asian communities to meet and network, describes Jerry Lee, one of the tournament committee members and a conference participant. His day job is serving as the chairman for the MulvannyG2 Architecture firm and actively contributes as a local philanthropist.
SCCC’s Executive Dean of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development, Dr. Anthony Barretto Ogilvie, added that among the benefits of participating in the tournament is the opportunity for Asian professionals in the community to expand their network and utilize each other’s skills and resources.
“The goal of the tournament is to create friendships and potential partnerships,” Dr. Ogilvie said.
“It’s the first of its kind in the area and meant to establish goodwill [hence the title] among community members through the game of basketball,” said Bert Golla, who works as a Certified Public Accountant in Seattle. He’s a committee member for the tournament and will serve as a substitute for one of the teams. Golla is also actively involved with the Filipino Chamber of Commerce as well as the U.S. Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce.
To harness the influence of local Asian American business leaders and promote SCCC, coordinators chose to develop a fun and casual activity that fosters teamwork and communication. Golla said Ogilvie and Lee were the brains behind this tournament. Other committee members include Ben Chan, Cordell Lui, Rogelio Rigor, and Perry Lee.
There will be a total of 16 teams divided into two age-brackets, 30-and-over and 50-and-over, that will play on March 25 and March 26 to compete in the consolation and championship games on Sunday, March 27. There will be 10 to 11 players per team. Each team will play a minimum of two games and winning teams will earn trophies for first, second and third place. Groups from Seattle, Portland, and Tacoma are scheduled to compete, and there’s a possibility other cities will join by tournament time.
Each team pays $250 dollars to join which includes the participant fee, dinner and prizes. The proceeds will benefit the Filipino American Scholarship Endowment Fund, which gives vital educational opportunities to Pacific Islander youth.
The conference also includes a three-point competition among selected shooters from each of the 16 teams on Saturday, March 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On the following day, younger participants can join in the fun with a free one-hour shooting clinic held Sunday morning, March 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for middle and high school students. This clinic will also feature Chris Banchero, Seattle Pacific University’s varsity guard who averaged 26 points per game, and Anthony Washington, former center for Portland State University.
The tournament kicks off with a Goodwill dinner on Thursday, March 24, at Sun Ya restaurant in the International District. And to close the event, an awards banquet will be held on Sunday evening, March 27 at the Acqua Bar in Belltown.
The games are free and open to the public. It will take place from Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27, at the Seattle Central Community College campus at the Mitchell Activity Center. For more information, call (206) 227 – 3449.