Nine teams of mostly high school aged athletes are gathering for the first-ever 3-on-3 basketball tournament every Friday night at the Epicentre in Hesperia.


Teams are comprised of four total players with one always rotating in or out of the game. Most players are ages 13 to 17 with 18-year-olds who have current Hesperia Unified School District identification cards also allowed to participate. A few of the basketball players compete on their high school basketball teams.


"A lot of the kids here play in our basketball league," said Sarah Houser, a Hesperia Recreation and Park District recreation specialist who manages Epicentre activities.


The double-elimination set up gives participants more playing time, she added.


Instead of having referees for each game, players must adhere to the honor system to resolve disagreements.


"The team who doesn't agree with a play shoots for it," according to Houser.


Last Friday's players were Oak Hills High, Sultana High, Hesperia High, Summit Leadership Academy and Ranchero Middle School.


The Epicentre also offers tutoring and has two rooms for students to study when not playing ball.


"It's a good, safe environment. Parents can feel safe bringing their kids in and knowing they are supervised."


Other activities include line dancing, Fitness Boot Camp and guitar lessons. Houser hopes to start up a free dance class for teens 13-17.


Houser, who played basketball, volleyball and softball at Sultana High in the late 1990s, is pleased with the turnout but envisions even more joining the fun.


"They love basketball," she said. "They love being here. They love playing. I would love to see this place filled every day with kids."


The Epicentre is open Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and Friday from 2:30 to 8 p.m. The facility is located at 17508 Hercules, Bldg. C. For more information, call 760-244-1368.