The new outdoor sport court was full of activity and fierce competition on Saturday Sept. 8. Kody Miles, senior communications major and creator of the Exit 44 social media brand, hosted a three-on-three basketball tournament to build community while promoting his project.
Miles created Exit 44 in his hometown of Rochester, NY to promote local creatives such as artists, athletes, comedians and musicians. he brand now has a following at Mercyhurst and has featured several artists on their Instagram page as well.
There were 12 teams that competed in a double elimination basketball tournament that began at 10 a.m. outside of Ryan Hall. The day included music as well as t-shirts and a trophy for the winning team of three.
The winning team, “The Cavs,” included senior Nate Myers, freshman Seth Myers and alumni Vitaly Tserger. They fought hard in every round and were able to go undefeated throughout the competition. Coming in second with just as much stamina was “Average Joe’s Gym” with only one loss in the tournament.
The second place team included senior Noah Dziak, junior Trey Deitrick and senior Hunter Burri.
“There were a lot of intense games with a lot of good competition which I didn’t really expect,” Miles said. “A lot of teams came to play. I thought people would sign up more for fun but they took it seriously. Either way if they were doing it for fun or not, it made for a better turn out.”
The game included a mix of upper and underclassmen as well as athletes and non-athletes. Even some friends of Exit 44 came from Buffalo and Pittsburgh as well as Mercyhurst alumni.
“We had a lot of teams come and a lot of people come to watch who weren’t even playing,” Miles said. “It was cool to see everyone come together in that one place for basketball.”
After the success of the first tournament, Exit 44 is teaming up with the Senior Class Gift Committee to host another three on three tournament on Wednesday Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. on the outdoor sport court. There will be a $15 fee per team for this tournament and sign ups can be found at mhur.st/scg-3v3 or by contacting Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That idea of community engagement combined Miles’ work with his passion for basketball in forming the Exit 44 basketball league and the first three on three tournament.
The basketball league is quickly becoming the forefront of Exit 44.
“I’m just trying to create a cultural movement on campus that will get students, faculty and staff as well as outside members of the University community excited to get involved and show love to the Exit 44 brand,” Miles said. “I hope that highlighting individuals on social media and hosting events like this one will get people to come out and get engaged.”
“The tournament was was a lot of work and I’ve been planning it since June. But now that I know how to do it, it’s a lot easier to get it going,” Miles said. “I think there will be more in the future and it will be only up from here.”