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A different kind of pick-up game

Gay basketball lovers form D.C. Sentinels

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Members of the D.C. Sentinels, an area gay basketball team, at a recent pick-up game. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

All across the United States, men and women are feeding their love for the sport of basketball by playing pickup games in open gym settings.

The scene is casual and quite often the gyms are eventually shut down leaving the players scrambling for another location that fits their needs. Tim Francis was one of those players going from gym to gym. After the closing of his gym in 2007, he decided to form a member-based LGBT basketball team run by an executive board of players and named it the D.C. Sentinels. The team follows the guidelines established by the National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA) and have grown to a roster of 43 members.

The Sentinels practice twice a week with two coaches at different locations in the D.C. area. The players run drills as a unit and then break apart into the expected teams for future tournaments. They competed in their first tournament in Amsterdam in 2008 and have since traveled the United States competing in NGBA sponsored tournaments.  Fresh off their bronze medal at the 2010 Cologne Gay Games, they will be hosting the Capital Classic II on October 16 and 17 at the Capital Sports Complex in District Heights, Md.

Tournaments sanctioned by the NGBA are five-on-five play with two 20 minute halves. The Sentinels are expecting 30 teams from across the United States with rosters of up to 10 per team with four of the teams consisting of Sentinels players.

The team is funded by member dues, local contributions and fundraising. They hold an annual raffle and have conceived another annual event called Splash which is a multi-faceted pool party that has grown leaps and bounds in its two years.  Part of the proceeds from fundraising are used to provide a commitment to the community. Recent outreach has included support to Us Helping Us, Food & Friends, Whitman-Walker, Susan G. Komen and AIDS Walk.

As a spectator and volunteer at the Sentinel’s first tournament in 2008, I was impressed by the level of play and the diversity of the players. The Sentinels themselves range in height from 5 feet, 7 inches to 6 feet, 9 inches. For details on the upcoming tournament and the team, go here.

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Bars & Parties

Want to dance for a good cause?

Artists Mercedes and Desto host a queer party

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(Image via Eventbrite)

“Herses- Purse Frist Extravaganza” will be on Friday, May 3 at 9 p.m. at 1835 14th St. N.W. This will be an evening of dancing and performances, hosted by HAUS of Bambi Award-winning Performance Artist, BUMPER. Refreshments are also available for purchase.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

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Bars & Parties

Support HIV research with a drag show

Tara Hoot, Evry Pleasure, TrevHER to perform

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Tara Hoot performs at Cherry Sundays on Sunday, April 7 at 11 a.m. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

El Techo will host, in partnership with Cherry Fund, a special edition of “Cherry Sundays” on Sunday, April 7 at 11 a.m. 

This event is a one-day fundraising bottomless brunch. There will be performances by Evry Pleasure, Tara Hoot and TrevHER, with DJ Lemz. All tequila shot purchases will be donated to the Cherry Fund.

The Cherry Fund raises money for LGBTQ non-profits whose primary goal is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS with prevention, treatment and education, and mental health services.

The event costs $45, inclusive of bottomless brunch on margaritas, mimosas, Bloody Marys and Tecates.

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Bars & Parties

MAL kicks off Jan. 11 with Bootcamp

Mid-Atlantic Leather begins with party at Bunker

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MAL Weekend kicks off next week. (Image courtesy of Bunker)

Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend arrives next week with a kickoff event Thursday, Jan. 11 from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. at Bunker. Organizers at Kinetic promise a surprise drill sergeant who will whip you into shape. Joshua Ruiz DJs the event. This event is for VIP pass holders only; visit kineticpresents.com for details.

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