NBA Hoop It Up is an annual touring three-on-three tournament, the largest of its kind in the world, and they wants YOU to play, too! Interested? Sign up at .

The tournament takes place at the Lloyd Center parking lot. There you'll be bombarded by corporate logos, cell phone kiosks, sagging shorts, visors, and hundreds of teams bumping, jostling, and occasionally punching each other on crudely drawn half-courts. The beautiful, fluid game of basketball will take a backseat to material promise, the allure of free shoes and mid-sized trophies for the victors whose main goal seems to be demonstrating competitive machismo. Twice I've entered a team, and twice we've not only lost in the first rounds, but at least one of us came away bloodied.

Nobody will look down on you if the athlete in you isn't quite insane enough to deal with this blacktop-heated ugliness, but you should still stop by and watch for a while, if only to see a good fight break out in the name of a new pair of Nikes. J.W. SANDERS III

Sign up to play in Hoop It Up as late as August 22nd at; it's $120; or just go watch; it runs Sat-Sun, August 23-24, from 9 am until dusk, Lloyd Center parking lot.