Gay Games VII: San Francisco Rock Dogs play hard

Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith
SF Rock Dogs coach DeMarco Majors is of the nicest and well-spoken guys we've met at this competition. We caught up with him for a few minutes just before the Rock Dogs' round robin game against the New York Warriors.

How did the SF Rock Dogs get started?
We've been together for more than four years now, and I've been the general for four years. Rock Dogs started off as a softball team by the [popular Castro clothing retailer] Rolo. We got the name because one of our other captains, who was a best friend, just decided the name just fits better with basketball.

Where do the Rock Dogs normally play and train?
We train twice a week and then we have one open gym on Sundays, and we always practice two to three hours each time that we practice.

We have a regular league, the local Castro league, which has eight teams, and we cycle that through. But then there are tournaments nationwide that we go to about quarterly. There are three major tournaments [the big teams] all go to—San Diego, Chicago and Atlanta.

Did you play in Gay Games VI in Sydney?
Yes. Sydney was my very first tournament. We did incredible. We actually lost to the championship team [the LA Heat] by one point.

Tell our readers about the logistics of the Gay Games basketball competition.
From Sunday to Wednesday is a round robin, so everyone gets to play and have fun and enjoy themselves. The games help with ranking a little bit, but not much. Then on Wednesday, it becomes single elimination—you lose, you're gone. It's intense.

Are you having fun so far at Gay Games VII? Are you getting to do other things besides play basketball?
I am having the time of my life. We're going to do a lot of other things [besides play] this time. Sydney was different, but this time it's two games per day, an hour apart, and then we get to go watch and support other people.

What do you like about the Gay Games? What inspires you?
[The Gay Games] was an opportunity for me to see other [gay athletes]. I didn't think there were any other athletes out there who were gay. So when I saw this, it was just a jaw-dropping experience. It helped me come out.

How are you doing so far?
We're 2-0 so far. We played the ESPN Scrubs and then the Long Beach Rebels, which is a very great team.

We know that Gay Games is all about personal best, but who is the team to beat at Gay Games VII? Is it the LA Heat again this year?
Quite honestly, when I look at everyone's talent, and I look at the way they're playing, I respect New York and I respect all the other teams because we're all friends, but right now I really believe that with the team the Rock Dogs has right now, that we're the team to beat.

Anything else you want to say?
We're bringing home the gold back to San Francisco.