A fitting finish for ‘Shoot’ Medina tourney

Host school Sanger High boys, perennial champ Roosevelt girls capture the final titles in 10-year run of basketball event to honor late Apaches player and hoops official

Jon Earnest
Published June 25, 2024  • 
11:30 am

SANGER — Two familiar schools took home championship hardware in the 10th and final Evan “Shoot” Medina Basketball Tournament over the weekend.

Host Sanger High captured the boys title, the school’s second straight, while Roosevelt High won a fourth consecutive girls division championship. The Apaches were led by tournament Most Valuable Player Justin Hernandez, while Nyleigh Gregory earned the MVP award for the Rough Riders girls.

Rounding out the boys field this year was 2022 champion Selma High, Reedley, Orange Cove, Fowler, Hoover, Mendota, Lemoore, Hanford West and Coalinga. The girls field also included Dinuba, Sanger, Reedley, Orosi, Selma, Fresno, Strathmore, Fowler and Coalinga.

Al Medina, tournament organizer and a longtime basketball official, passed out the final trophies to the championship teams to close out the tournament. The annual event was designed as a decade-long tribute to Evan Medina, former Sanger High player who died in a vehicle crash in September 2012. Medina had pledged to hold 10 annual basketball tourneys in memory of his son, who after his playing days became an official and worked games with his father in the San Joaquin Valley Officials Association.

It took an additional two years to complete the 10-year mission, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 events. Al Medina praised the community, schools, players and families involved in the tournament over the years.

“Evan ‘s life was short, but what a great day (the final tournament) was,” Medina said. “People could feel that Saturday was a special day. I will always be grateful.”

Jon Earnest