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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City gears up for Hoopfest 2018

UPDATED: Thu., June 28, 2018

SKK Dynasty, in orange, gather with Real Skins in the early morning light to contest their Hoopfest game, June 24, 2017, on Sprague Avenue in downtown Spokane, Wash.   Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
SKK Dynasty, in orange, gather with Real Skins in the early morning light to contest their Hoopfest game, June 24, 2017, on Sprague Avenue in downtown Spokane, Wash. Dan Pelle/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

More than 6,000 teams will face off in downtown Spokane this weekend for the region’s annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Hoopfest.

Hoopfest Executive Director Matt Santangelo said he expected more than 23,500 athletes to compete, and between 2,500 and 3,000 volunteers to help set up and run the tournament. Categories for teams include youth, high school, adult, elite adult, elite high school varsity, elite freshman, family and Special Olympics.

He said streets between First and Boone avenues and Lincoln and Browne streets will be blocked off and turned into basketball courts from 7 p.m. on Friday to about midnight on Sunday.

Set-up volunteer Burt Kostelecky said it takes about three days to set up the 450 courts, and months to finish building and repairing the hoops and backboards. The organizers try to save the backboards and rims year to year, he added, but they always replace the nets.

Once Kostelecky finishes volunteering, he and his team, Peaceful Valley Hoops, will compete in the tournament. He said he’s been a volunteer for 15 years and loves helping with the logistics, but it’s the spirit of the tournament that keeps him coming back.

“I always say it’s fun building it,” Kostelecky said, “because I get to play with it, too.”

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