Back at it again: 2nd time for Negaunee’s Buffalo Road Invitational a fun time for participants, spectators

These are just about all the players from the 2016 Buffalo Road Invitational. This year’s second edition of the event takes place Sunday along New Buffalo Road in Negaunee. (Photo courtesy Doug Lindblom)

“I was walking around town and people would ask me if I was bringing Buffalo Road back.”

— Doug Lindblom, organizer, Buffalo Road Invitational

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NEGAUNEE — After a successful first year, the Buffalo Road Invitational basketball tournament is back again.

The 10-team, 3-on-3 event will take place Sunday at the Buffalo Road Court and tournament organizer Doug Lindblom is pumped for it to get underway.

“It was so good the first time, that you have to do it again if you can,” he said. “There was lots of demand for it to come back. I was walking around town and people would ask me if I was bringing Buffalo Road back.

Steven Ludlum puts up a game-winning shot in the 2016 Buffalo Road Invitational, part of his effort that netted him MVP honors in the inaugural event. (Photo courtesy Doug Lindblom)

“Finally, I decided to do it over the winter when it was cold and horrible outside. So we’re back and we have two more teams and 10 more players. I’m pretty excited about it.”

This year’s tournament is set to start at noon with the championship set for 7:30 p.m. There is also going to be a “Lightning” tournament at 6:30 p.m. that is open to everyone in attendance with a prize given out to the winner and a 3-point shooting contest at 7 p.m. that is open only to the participants.

Each team has four players for a total of 40 participants and once the first set of invites sent out were returned, the next went out until the field was full. The teams were then chosen at random on Facebook Live.

“We brought in some new talent from the Negaunee (High School) basketball team like Brock Aho, who was their quarterback last year, and Darius Provost,” Lindblom said. “There’s also some guys who’ve been around the block and we’re bringing back some good guys like (former Miners) Parker Bowman and Ben Luke. I think we’re branching out well.”

The BRI has 27 sponsors this year, both business and personal. Admission is free and both Gravedoni Street Eats and Oscar’s Ice Cream Treats will be on hand offering refreshments.

“It’s great to see so much support for this,” Lindblom said. “It’s a goofy event, but a lot of people wanted to help out. People in Negaunee love events like this and it’s not your typical tournament and the court is in no way shape or form regulation size, but we embrace that.

“It’s a good thing to come out and enjoy. It may not be the best basketball to watch, but it’s a great way to enjoy the summer.”

The Buffalo Road Court is located on New Buffalo Road, which is off of County Road 480.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.