While many are enjoying the Final Four this weekend on television, four University of Central Florida Recreation and Wellness Center Intramural Sports participants will be on a court in Atlanta trying to win tickets to Monday night’s National Championship game.
Brian Charif, Michael Orr, Justin Rose and Jakwanka Gaston will represent UCF in the Powerade 3v3 basketball tournament after winning the regional tournament at the RWC in February. The tournament is at the Georgia World Congress Center and is part of Coca-Cola Zero’s annual Bracket Town, Ultimate Final Four Fan Fest.
Charif, a marketing/sales major from Pembroke Pines, and Orr, an electrical engineering major from Orlando, have been playing basketball together in the UCF IM Sports program for four years. This year they added Rose, a marketing/sales major from Melbourne, and for this weekend’s tournament added Gaston to their roster.
The team beat out a field of more than a dozen teams at the regional tournament. “We were undermanned, undersized and physically beat up,” said Charif. “It felt amazing to win such a close game against tough competition.”
Charif and Orr are no strangers to success on the basketball court. Their team has been in the final four of UCF IM Sports leagues four times; finishing as runners up twice and winning a 5-on-5 championship in 2010-2011.
“The key to our success is our chemistry,” said Orr.
Charif believes that traveling this weekend will allow the team to tap into something they haven’t felt for a few years. “Having a chance to play in Atlanta makes us feel like we are back in high school traveling to play,” he said.
Powerade sponsored the team’s trip to Atlanta for the double elimination tournament with separate divisions based on age groups.