Basketball is in the AIR...literally! From college and professional play to high school match-ups and your kiddo's grade school games, basketball fans can't get enough! Locally, here's even more icing on the cake for enthusiasts! A chance to check out the Wayne Estes Basketball Tournament in Anaconda this Saturday & Sunday, March 25th & 26th! As part of the tourney, a 3-Point Contest will happen this Saturday 7 p.m. at the Memorial Gym (Corner of Hickory & 6th, Anaconda). The tournament first made its way to the court in 1984 to pay tribute and honor the late, great basketball legend Wayne Estes, a native of Anaconda. (continued...)

Following a successful basketball career as an Anaconda Copperhead in the early 1960s under Coach John Cheek and a high school letterman in football and track, Estes earned All-American status as a forward for the Utah State Aggies from 1962 to 1965. At that time and as illustrated in Deseret News, Estes made basketball history by scoring 2,001 points during college and was ranked fourth for his immense rebounding skills. Memories of Wayne Estes live on for those who knew him and for those who felt like they knew him for the icon he was. Sadly for everyone, however, on February 8, 1965, Estes' life was tragically cut short when a downed power line fatally electrocuted him following a game he commanded, scoring 48 points. The YouTube video below shows memories of Wayne Estes' last game played at Utah State University.  (more on tourney below...)

For players and spectators alike, the Wayne Estes Basketball Tournament is a time to reflect on Estes' life, his contribution to the game and poignantly remember just how fragile and valuable our time here truly is. For the first time since 2019, this weekend's games will hit the court under the direction of Estes' brother, Ron Estes, and fellow coordinators Trish Wagner, Andy Stetzner, Joe Ungaretti, and Sindri Goodmundson. Mia Estes, who followed in her Uncle Wayne's (Ron's daughter) footsteps as a record breaking javelin stand-out at Utah State has also been instrumental in helping with this weekend's tournament. Competitive play begins this Saturday at 8 a.m. and wraps up on Sunday afternoon in the following divisions: high school boys, men's, and grade school (girls and boys, 1st grade through 6th grade). Plus remember, a must-see is the tourney's traditional 3-point contest beginning at 7 p.m. at Anaconda's Memorial Gym this Saturday! For a schedule of games and brackets visit their website HERE -> WAYNE ESTES

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