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Monday, June 18, 2012

Spokane, Washington, Hosts World’s Biggest HoopFest

The annual Spokane HoopFest in Spokane, Washington, is not your everyday 3-on-3 basketball on-the-corner game .... it is in fact the biggest 3-on-3 street basketball tournament in the world
Beyond basketball, the Spokane Hoopfest is an outdoor festival chock-full of concerts, shopping, food and interactive events spanning 42 downtown Spokane city blocks. 
Spokane Hoopfest Association is a Washington nonprofit corporation corporation committed to supporting local charities.
In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments hardly existed outside of the Midwest United States. The idea of Spokane Hoopfest was born from two separate groups: one group with members from the Midwest who wanted to see the continuance of the 3-on-3 ball they had back home and the other with members trying to raise money for Special Olympics. Eventually the two groups merged under co-founders Rick Betts and Jerry Schmidt and Spokane Hoopfest Association was created. 
The first tournament in 1990 hosted 2,009 players on 512 teams. The event was such a success in its first year, the City was happy to have it back again the next summer. Thus began the tradition of Spokane shutting down its downtown core during the last weekend in June to let people play on the streets.
In the many years since inception, Hoopfest has developed into much more than a basketball tournament. Activities have been added to enhance the event experience such as a youth and adult center courts, games and contests for every age, music playing throughout downtown, merchandise tents, and more.
Today the Spokane Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 street basketball tournament and family festival of its kind in the world, drawing over 7,000 teams to 458 courts, nearly 28,000 players and some 225,000 fans, and 3,000 volunteers.  And the actual games? Some 14,000 of those. Spokane Hoopfest was awarded the Guinness World Record in 2009 for the largest streetball tournament.
Visit www.spokanehoopfest.net for more information.
For news of other events in Spokane go to Visit Spokane.
For more information about top events in Washington State take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Washington