Behind the scenes at Hoopfest 24

Behind the scenes at Hoopfest 24

Behind the Scenes

When it comes to three-on-three basketball, most of us are weekend warriors. We show up, put on our shoes and go. But for the Hoopfest organization this is a year-round job that really ramps up the closer we get to the big weekend.

When teams hit the court for that first game Saturday morning, it is the often the culmination of weeks of training and hard work.

But down at the Hoopfest office the hard work came weeks ago. For the staff, Hoopfest is a year-round job, with many of them doing it not for a paycheck but for fun.

Take Diane Sullivan, who got ready for Hoopfest this year by building brackets by hand. She’s pretty good at it, too. After all, she has been doing it for 24 years.

Sullivan is just one of the perennial Hoopfest volunteers who make all that basketball magic come to life.

“It’s just evolved into something wonderful,” she said.

After 24 years, Hoopfest is a well-oiled machine, from the backboard art to the court setup Friday night. Most of us have no idea how much it takes and, how much stress and coordination goes into transforming our city into a basketball Mecca.

While this year’s Hoopfest has yet to tip-off, Executive Director Rick Steltenpohl and his staff are already thinking about next year.

“I say this all the time, I celebrate a win when I play for about one second ’cause I want the next win. And, that’s how we treat Hoopfest … we want the next win,” he said.

What will that mean? More courts? More teams? Even Steltenpohl isn’t sure just yet. But one thing is certain … teammates like Diane Sullivan will be ready.