Stopped by the Memorial Day Zeke-End basketball tournament hosted by Isaiah Thomas, the former Washington star.
The three-day tourney at Tacoma’s Foss High drew hundreds of fans and several players from Tacoma, Seattle and surrounding communities.
A few notable players who played included: Thomas, former UW standouts Tony Wroten Jr., Will Conroy and Abdul Gaddy, former Gonzaga players Michah Downs and Steven Gray and NBA veteran James Johnson. Seattle-area hoops legends Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson made appearances, but did not play.
Thomas could hardly believe he was playing in a tournament that bears his name.
“It feels great,” he said Sunday. “I’m surprised with the the turnout, especially on Saturday and Sunday when we had a full house here. The city has shown me love and I’m thankful for everybody for coming out.
“This is the stuff you dream about. I’m at a loss of because so many people came out and supported this. It’s just a blessing.”
Thomas’ tourney is believed to be the first of its kind in Tacoma, which led to the debate about who are the best basketball players to come out of the city.
Many in attendance put Thomas at the top of the list. His top three player Tacoma players included: Justin Holt, Leonard White and Curtis Allen.
“Tacoma is a tough area to grow up in and I don’t think we had the guys like Seattle,” Thomas said. “Seattle guys, when they make it, they look out for the next guy. They want the next guy to make it. But we haven’t really had that guy that kids look up to and they take under their wing.
“So I wanted to be that guy. If any of the little guys need with whatever they need, I want to be the guy they go to. I want to be Jamal Crawford of Tacoma. Jamal and Jason Terry those guys started it all in the Seattle area. I want to be the guy that young fellas in the Tacoma area look up to.”