Volunteers the backbone behind Hoopfest

Volunteers the backbone behind Hoopfest

SPOKANE, Wash. - With each passing year Hoopfest continues to grow, but the world's largest three-on-three basketball tournament could not go on without the legion of volunteers who make this event happen.

Two of those volunteers are extremely dedicated and belong to a small group who have been to every Hoopfest.

"Here we are 25 years later," Hal McGlathery said.

When Hoopfest rolls into town every year there's always two guys you can count on to be there. Hal McGlathery and Chuck Filippini haven't missed a single tournament.

"Every year it's penciled in," Filippini said.

"I don't need to put it on the calendar it's embedded," McGlathery added.

They're two old friends bound together by their love of basketball and this one-of-a-kind tournament.

"It's in our blood, basketball is in our blood and we are passionate about it and we don't mind giving back to the sport that has given to us," McGlathery said.

"Being a basketball junkie plus a basketball official, I just love being part of the whole event," Filippini said.

McGlathery does a a lot of the planning for the Elite Division while Filippini is in charge of roughly 130 courts.

They aren't paid a dime, but they don't care. Hoopfest is a well-oiled machine thanks to this pair of volunteers and, a quarter century later, they might be older, but their heart is still in the game.

When asked how long they would keep coming back the two guys were quick with their responses.

"As long as I'm not in a wheelchair," Filippini said.

"I'll do it as long as my health stays," McGlathery said.