June 27, 2011 in City

Hoopfest had wins and losses on sidelines, too

By The Spokesman-Review
J. Bart Rayniak photoBuy this photo

Mercedes Becerra, left, of the Mabton, Wash., Lil Vike Ballers reaches for a loose ball as Olivia Moore from Spokane’s Rock Star Ballers, Karina Garzon, of Mabton, and Kristin Simpson, of Spokane, join a free-for-all for possession in a youth consolation game Sunday afternoon in Bracket 40.
(Full-size photo)

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On the Web: View photo galleries from Saturday and Sunday and look back at complete weekend coverage at spokesman.com/hoopfest.

Relatively cool weather Sunday was good for just about everything at Hoopfest except water and book vendors.

Despite a bargain price – two 16-ounce bottles for $1 – the “Coldest Water Ever” wasn’t burning up sales records.

“It’s going pretty well – a little bit slow because the weather is not as hot as it usually is,” Allison Little said.

She and her sister, Anna Little, were recruited by their grandmother, Patricia Kennelly, to help at a sales booth to benefit the nearby Park Tower Apartments, 217 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

The sisters agreed it didn’t help that a group pulled up in a truck and started handing out free cans of an “energy” drink.

“We recovered pretty well after that,” Allison Little said. “It’s just the weather that’s hurting us now.”

Two-dollar Bud Lights seemed to be going well enough at the Riff bar, and restaurants like Luigi’s kept their sidewalk tables full.

People also dropped in at Auntie’s Bookstore, but it’s safe to say that Hoopfest doesn’t attract a book-buying crowd.

“Please do not bounce basketballs in the store,” signs implored.

In the past, most Hoopfest visitors have been looking for restrooms and air conditioning, according to lead bookseller Marina Huffaker.

Auntie’s bounced back with a concession stand that she said has “kind of helped us break even.”

Cooler weather reduced the number of ball-bouncers in search of air conditioning.

Matthew Eubanks III supplied his own cool, gracefully dancing for dollars in front of a cardboard sign that said: “I’m bored and got nothing to do. Please help me with a buck or 2 so I can have fun like you.”

Eubanks said he came up from California for the Rainbow Family of Living Light gathering, not Hoopfest, “but they moved everything around and I’m not sure where it is now.”

Jared Rahm came from Lake Stevens to watch his buddies in a team called the Posers.

Unlike most teams, the Posers and their Sunday afternoon opponents, the Galloping Peacocks, had no matching T-shirts. In fact, they mostly had no shirts at all.

Other teams included surprisingly athletic gray-haired geezers who helped each other up when they landed on their backsides, muscular young men who flew through the air without finding the basket, and preteen boys who got a lot of advice to “play some defense.”

Jordan Rogers, a volunteer at one of four hospital-operated first-aid tents, said his station sent a couple of people to a clinic for ankle X-rays but most injuries were minor.

“We give away a lot of ice,” Rogers said.

Spokane police Detective Larry Bowman was happy about his “very slow” day.

He said problems mostly were limited to drunken fights among transients who complied when asked to leave.

“I think the temperature has made a big difference,” Bowman said.

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