Friends of Gene Cotter have united to design the first of what they hope will be an annual event.

The first “Play Like Geno” tournament will be held on the weekend of Oct. 22 in Eureka and organizers say it’s all thanks to the generosity of friends who wanted to do something to honor the local basketball legend.

Cotter, the owner of Basketball Jones Hoop Camps, died on July 11, in a car crash in his adopted hometown of Hollister. Cotter was 44. He left behind his wife, Tiffany, and their two kids. The crash occurred on Highway 156 between Hollister and San Juan Bautista. Cotter was the public face and head coach at Basketball Jones Hoop Camp along with his brothers Ed and Will.

Organizers explained that following Gene’s tragic passing this past July, the Eureka Parks and Recreation Department generously offered to sponsor a 3 on 3 tournament in his honor, to be held at the Adorni Center and the Municipal Auditorium, with all the proceeds going to his family.

The 3 on 3 Tournament will be held in Eureka on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23.

From his humble beginnings as a kid on the gravel courts of Redway to a South Fork High School All State basketball phenom in the early ‘90s, Cotter, known as ‘Geno’ to his friends, went on to successful seasons at both College of the Redwoods and Holy Names College in Oakland, before founding Basketball Jones Hoop Camps in 1996.

This year marked the 20th Anniversary of his popular basketball camps, which served youth throughout Northern California from Eureka all the way down to Salinas.

Registion is now open at, click on the ‘Play Like Geno 3 on 3 Tournament’ link.


  • Elementary CoEd (ages 9-12)
  • Junior High CoEd (ages 13-14)
  • High School Boys (ages 15-17)
  • High School Girls (ages 15-17)
  • Men’s Open (ages 18+)
  • Women’s Open (ages 18+)
  • Adult CoEd (ages 18+)
  • Men’s Over 40 (ages 40+, in honor of Geno)

There is a maximum of 4 players per team, and each team is guaranteed a minimum of three games.

The registration fee is $85 per team for all adult divisions, and $65 per team for the high school, Junior High, and elementary divisions. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams in each division.

Space in the tournament is limited, so please get your team together and sign up soon!

For those traveling from out of town for the tournament, The Red Lion Inn has a $79 group rate for participants. Please call (707) 445-0844 and mention the “Play Like Geno” 3 on 3 tournament to book your room at the group rate.

If you have any questions, please contact Will Cotter at 510.915.2578, or email