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Bam Jam Fill Boise Streets

Saturday, Aug. 4-Sunday, Aug. 5

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Bam Jam—the huge basketball competition in downtown Boise now in its fifth year—brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "takin' it to the streets." After outgrowing its BODO digs, the 2012 Bam Jam three-on-three tournament moves to city streets, blocking off asphalt for basketball courts near the State Capitol Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5.

This year, the plan is to take over the streets of eight city blocks with more than 20 basketball courts placed side-by-side, adjacent to center court at the intersection of Sixth and Bannock streets. With more than 300 teams registered for last year's event, Bam Jam has historically drawn as many as 10,000 people, according to event organizers.

B-ball events include the three-point challenge, half-court shoot-off and slam dunk challenge, requiring a mix of panache and skill. But the main event at center court is the three-on-three, with adult teams for women, men 6-feet and taller and men less than 6-feet tall. There's also a co-ed adult team, and kids' teams are divided by grade and gender. Teams will be put in brackets, with a three-game guarantee and a champion named for each division.

According to Bam Jam's Vince Hordemann, the three-point and slam dunk challenges will take place on the steps of the Capitol. Hordemann said the flat concrete had to be measured to ensure there's enough space for all the action.

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Idaho Select Player's Fund and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County, with Bam Jam raising thousands of dollars for local causes in its five-year history. Basketball enthusiasts can bask in all the chances to watch games, and even the non-sporty can enjoy the bustling, lively weekend in downtown. Want to get involved? Hordemann said volunteers are needed down to the last second. See the website for more info.

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