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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Hoopfest

Sunday Spin: Inslee to pass on Hoopfest ‘14

OLYMPIA – For the second year in a row, Gov. Jay Inslee won’t be able to make good on a post-election promise to come to Spokane to play in Hoopfest.

Inslee, an admitted hoop-aholic, played in the 2012 tournament during the gubernatorial campaign, and made what seemed like an easy-to-keep promise on Inauguration Day to return with a team as governor. He repeated the promise a few weeks later to the Greater Spokane Inc. lobbying contingent, saying he planned to double the number of victories from the previous year. (Not a high goal, considering they won one.)

But the Legislature went into double overtime in 2013, and didn’t have a budget by the last weekend of June, which meant state government faced a partial shutdown on July 1. So Inslee had to stick close to the Capitol for budget talks rather than hitting the half-court.

This year the Legislature finished on time and the living is easy in Olympia. During the mile walk for his annual pre-fire season test, he talked of plans to participate in the 100-mile Wenatchee Apple Century Bike Ride.

Got a team ready for Hoopfest this year, he was asked.

“I have to work that weekend,” he said, shaking his head. He’s out of state at a Democratic Governors Association meeting that weekend, his staff said. 

Budget impasse keeps Inslee out of Hoopfest

Inslee goes up for a rebound last January in pickup game at governor's mansion.

OLYMPIA — The Legislature has until Sunday night to pass a budget that would stave off a partial state government shutdown, but the impasse will keep Gov. Jay Inslee out of Hoopfest this weekend.

 An avid basketball player who arranged a pick-up game on Inauguration Day between his swearing in and the ball, Inslee put together a team last year when he was on the campaign trail. He had promised a contingent from the Spokane-area chambers of commerce that he'd bring a team to Hoopfest this year and vowed to double the wins from 2012… to two.

But that was in January, when it seemed like the Legislature had plenty of time in its 105-day regular session to agree on the 2013-15 operating budget. One regular session and 1.5 special sessions later, that budget deal remains elusive. If that deal is reached, both chambers will have to pass it and Inslee sign it before midnight Sunday to give the state the authority to spend money on certain programs and pay wages and benefits for many state workers.

“He is not going to be leaving town this weekend,” spokeswoman Jaime Smith said.

Team Inslee would have been down two players. State Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, was on the roster and he, too, is stuck in Olympia. They didn't sign up for the tournament, Smith said.

Inslee: I’ll be there for Hoopfest

Inslee goes up for a rebound in an Inaugural Day game at the governor's mansion.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee is a self-proclaimed hoopaholic who likes basketball so much his staff organized a pick-up game to provide a break in Inauguration Day.

He likes it so much he wants to turn that game into an annual event. 

He likes it so much the staff is looking for a place to set up a full court (and reportedly eyeing the parking lot between the Capitol press buildings.)

He likes it so much he said Wednesday he'll bring a team to Spokane for Hoopfest again this year, with plans to double the number of wins from his 2012 team… which would mean they'd win two games.

Rep. Marcus Riccelli of Spokane, who played on Inslee's Hoopfest team last summer, said that technically they did win two games in 2012. But only because one of the teams they were supposed to play didn't show up, so they won by forfeit.

Inslee said the Inaugural Day basketball game was, in part, an effort to encourage people to exercise more and make Washington the healthiest state in the nation.

Governor’s race comes down to Hoopfest vs. Bloomsday

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee will be on the court Saturday at Hoopfest in a team that also includes Democratic state House candidate Marcus Riccelli.

Their team, the Evergreen Dream Team, will play its first game at 8 a.m. Saturday on Washington Street between Main and Riverside, according to a news release.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna already participated in a popular Spokane sporting event this year. He ran Bloomsday.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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