Hitting the streets

Corre Care’s Juan Salmon from Roswell passes the ball around an Old Country defender during their Hoopla 3-on-3 Street Ball Tour game Saturday at Hillcrest Park. Corre Care defeated Old Country 16-13. Photo by Eric Kluth.

By Eric Butler

Edgar Tarin recognizes the stereotypical basketball player. At Saturday’s Hoopla 3-on-3 Streetball Tour at Hillcrest Park, he could point out many of them.
“Just look for somebody tall and lanky,” said Tarin. “We’re totally opposite of that — at least I know I am.”
At 5-feet-5 and 200 pounds, however, don’t get the idea that Tarin is fat. Part of the CorreCare team, Tarin and his buddies spend many an hour working with the weights at a gym in Roswell, which is owned by teammate Alton Shields.
Indeed, each of the five members of CorreCare, named after a medical care provider in Roswell, look like bodybuilders. That’s especially true when they go against more average-looking basketball players.
“Ours are the skinny guys,” said Rebecca Salazar of Clovis, pointing to her boyfriend’s team, the Homies, as they prepared to face CorreCare.
Most of the 80 teams entered into the two-day basketball tournament have some ties to eastern New Mexico, including CorreCare. Although now living in Roswell, Shields is a 1984 graduate of Floyd High School.
Shields said he and his teammates typically spend two hours a day working out at his gym. When it comes time to dribble and shoot a basketball, Tarin calls it “cardio work.”
“People think people that lift weights have no agility or movement, but it’s just not true,” Shields said. “It actually helps you in all aspects of sports. We play two or three tournaments a year — (Gus) Macker, Hoopla, anywhere we can play.”
The CorreCare members did their best to show their agility in a 16-6 win over the Clovis-based Homies and were, at times, successful. Shields converted a reverse layup and Tarin deftly recovered one errant ball, saving it to a teammate before he landed out-of-bounds.
Still, weightlifters or not, both squads appeared out of gas as the game wore on.
On consecutive plays, where the ball rolled far away from their court both times, nobody was in any particular rush to retrieve it.
“Not me,” said the Homies’ Salvador Luna, a 1993 Clovis High graduate who said this was his first competitive basketball in nearly five years. “I was the closest one, but I took my time to go get it.”
On the other side of the park, the small players were also going at it three-on-three. In the Pee Wee Division, 8- and 9-year-olds formed teams for the competition.
After a Saturday morning loss, the Little Rascals from Portales were regrouping and sounding much like their older, bigger counterparts.
“Not so good,” assessed Jacob Aranda, 8, on how his team played. “The way we dribble, the way we shoot. We were guarding — but not enough.”