It was a beautiful sunny day for the Findlay Toyota Half-Court Shootoff… 82 degrees… how can you beat that? But did we mention the 24 mile per hour winds? With gusts coming from all directions, a new element was brought into the Shootoff competition – and it was a challenging one. Men and women came to compete… $10 for 3 shots. Qualifying rounds lasted Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning. At noon, we announced our 11 qualifying shooters that made it to the Semi-Finals. From there, it was narrowed down to three.
The contestants came back at 1pm for the Finals, and they were explained the rules for Shootoff’s Final Round. Everyone would get one half-court shot in the first round. If no one made it, it would continue with the same setup for a second round. And if again no one made it, they would move to a third round, where they would start taking three-point shots until there was a winner. The contestants nodded in agreement to show they understood the rules. And with that, they were each handed a ball and given a “good luck.”
With a crowd surrounding the contest, Mark Elisaldez was the first to shoot. Mark has been playing basketball his whole life. And while he was not a part of the #Vegas3on3 tournament, he had heard about both the tournament and the contest during his attendance of the Lakers vs. Warriors game Saturday night. And with his first shot, he lined up, stepped back, went for it… and made it! Jon Rael and Tabais Eakins followed him in attempts, but were not able to get the ball in the net, making Mark our 2016 winner and our inaugural Findlay Toyota Shootoff winner for #Vegas3on3! Despite the pressure and the winds, with one swoosh, Mark was $4,000 richer!
Father of four, Mark coaches all of his kids – ages eight, nine, 12 and 13 – in AAU basketball. He plans to play in the event next year. And when asked what he was going to do with the prize money, he said “I’m taking the family to Hawaii!”
If you’re hanging up your shoes from street ball, but not ready to give up your competitive spirit, think about trying out our Findlay Toyota Half-Court Shot next year… you may come away a little bit richer!