Hoopfest team in home stretch preparing for three-on-three tourney

Hoopfest team in home stretch preparing for three-on-three tourney
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In two-and-a-half weeks tens of thousands of people will pack downtown Spokane for Hoopfest, the world’s biggest three-on-three basketball tournament. After 25 years organizers are mostly sticking to the same game plan with a few exciting changes.

Hoopfest not only transforms the look of downtown but the over-all environment, and it keeps thousands of people coming back to Spokane year after year.

“There’s something really powerful about this great community event and people come out and they plan their year around it,” Hoopfest director Matt Santangelo said.

It’s the passion from the community that fuels the Hoopfest team in these last few weeks leading up to the tournament.

“There’s no need to sleep. We can do that in July,” Santangelo said.

In its 26th year the event continues to grow.

“We’re up to 462 total playing courts, that’s up eight courts from last year,” site manager Rob Davis said.

“This year with SportsCenter coming to Spokane, all those millions of eyes that are going to see Spokane for the first time, certainly Hoopfest for the first time, talk about motivation you know, to make sure we can pull it off to the best that we can,” Santangelo added.

This year organizers are focusing on the Friday night before games begin, when downtown Spokane officially transforms into Hoopfest central, including a Hop-fest beer garden for adults, and a variety of clinics for the kids.

“We just got confirmation yesterday that David Stockton of the Sacramento Kings, NBA player, is going to do a ball handling clinic,” Santangelo said.

Once the weekend of basketball is underway Center Court will have a new rule: Dunking is allowed, but only on Center Court. Dunking in the streets still leads to a technical.

If you would like to participate in those clinics you don’t need to be playing in Hoopfest but you will need to sign up for them in advance. Hoopfest is also looking for volunteers as well. For more information on how you can participate click here.