Portland hosts Verbout Basketball Tournament

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by Mike Verbout – 

The Portland Moore Street Corps in Oregon recently held its eighth annual Doris Verbout Salvationist Basketball Tournament with 14 teams—about 170 players, men and women—meeting for four days of worship, fellowship and athletic competition. The tournament’s biggest winners were the 24 individuals who accepted Christ and the 30 others who came to the altar seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord.

Each day, after the games, participants joined for a time of worship, testimony and Bible teaching. The focus was God—every game began with prayer and after each match the teams that had competed came together for devotions. According to Tournament Director Tim Fuqua, “Throughout the tournament the teams huddled together in prayer.”

Along with Fuqua, many people worked to make the tournament a success, including Worship Music Director Captain Ramon Ocaño, corps officer from Eureka, California; Bible instructors and preachers Captain John Tumey (Bend, Oregon), Captain Shane Halverson (Pendleton, Oregon), and Captain Robert Marshall, Portland Moore Street corps officer.

Among those sharing testimonies were Linda Fox, one of Doris’s daughters; Jerry Moss of the Portland Trailblazers; and Michael Holton, University of Portland basketball coach and former NBA player.

This year, reflecting its growth, the tournament expanded into the community. Jefferson High School and Portland Community College’s Cascade campus opened their gyms to the games, welcoming spectators and interest from those perhaps unfamiliar with The Salvation Army.

This year’s winners were: Sportsmanship—joint award to Pendleton, Oregon’s men’s and women’s teams; Sportsmanship, honorable mention—Salem, Oregon and the Portland ARC; First place, women—Portland Moore Street; Second place, women—Gresham, Oregon; First place, men—Tacoma, Washington; Second place, men—British Columbia Eagles of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Preparations for the 2006 tournament have begun. If you are interested in participating, contact the Portland Moore Street Corps at (503) 493-3927.

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