|Sam Coady, Rob Smitherman|
The Coady Roundball Classic had its largest turnout and most competitive field for the 21st edition, held April 16-17 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
The largest and longest-running LGBT basketball tournament attracted 35 teams from across the United States, the same number as last year, but 310 players—up 20 from last year. The 35 teams tied a tournament record, with new teams from Phoenix, Austin and Portland, Ore., among other cities. Organizers said the event has reached its max for the seven courts used over two days.
Twenty cities were represented in the event, including eight Chicago teams.
"Every year, the event gets better and better," said Sam Coady, an original member of the event's Hall of Fame (Class of 2000). "There were things provided [to participants] this year that no other tournament, in any sport does, including dinner for three nights, T-shirts, drink coupons, etc."
Coady did not play this season due to a recently injured knee, "but it's still very exciting to watch," he said. "I know the event is a success when others run it and do an exceptional job."
Originally called the Chicago Hoops Classic, it has been known as the Coady Roundball Classic for seven years, "and I'm very honored by that," Coady said. Ted Cappas was the organizer for the past seven years before handing the ball to Steve Waldron and Jeff Edmonds this year.
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