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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Press Box Podcast: Hoopfest registration open until May 25, but space is limited

UPDATED: Sat., May 19, 2018

Good news, procrastinators: Hoopfest registration is still open.

But time is of the essence.

Guaranteed registration for the 29th edition of the world’s largest 3-on-3 tournament has passed, but the space-available deadline is Friday.

Just six weeks away, Hoopfest 2018 runs June 30 and July 1 on the streets of downtown Spokane.

“Get registered,” Hoopfest director Matt Santangelo said Friday. “There’s probably still a good chance your team name hasn’t already been taken yet.”

Santangelo reported around 4,600 teams registered before the May 9 guaranteed deadline, an increase from last year’s early deadline tally. In 2017, Hoopfest brought in more than 6,000 teams from 43 states and six countries, resulting in a regional economic impact of around $50 million.

Santangelo, the former Gonzaga sharpshooter, expects a sizable push of team entries this week. More than 5,000 teams are currently registered.

“From 4,600 teams (at early deadline) to reaching around 6,500, it still feels like that’s a long ways away,” Santangelo said. “But that is the nature of registration. We get a big push right at the end of the guaranteed deadline.”

Santangelo on registration

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Powered by roughly 3,000 volunteers a year, Hoopfest also needs more helpers to register. Volunteer court monitors get a Hoopfest Nike “Swag Bag,” which includes shoes, shorts, a hat and a Hoopfest court monitor T-shirt.

As incentive, volunteers are also put into a raffle for a cache of prizes, including a two-night stay at the Davenport Hotel during Hoopfest weekend.

Because of park construction, Nike Center Court will be at Bennett Block for the second consecutive year. Elite Divisions will also be on Stevens Street for the second consecutive year after more than a decade on Spokane Falls Boulevard.

Santangelo said moving center court to the middle of the Hoopfest action last year instead of tucked away in the park was a favorable move, as well as the elite divisions playing on a more spacious Stevens Street.

“Better playing surface, wider streets and you don’t have tree overhang,” Santangelo said of the move to Stevens. “But you don’t have the shade from the trees, so there’s pros and cons.”

Santangelo on center court

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With 3-on-3 basketball becoming an Olympic sport in 2020, Hoopfest will also field a bracket for professional and international 3-on-3 teams playing FIBA rules. The winner takes home $4,000.

Santangelo on FIBA 3x3

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Coinciding with Hoopfest in downtown Spokane is a portion of The Basketball Tournament, a $2 million, winner-take-all, 5-on-5 tournament broadcast on the ESPN network. Lewis and Clark High School will host a four-team pod of the 72-team regional tournament, comprised mostly of former college basketball stars from around the country.

Santangelo on TBT playing at LC

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The four teams in the Spokane pod include Gonzaga’s Few Good Men, Team Utah (University of Utah alums), Gael Force (Saint Mary’s) and TBTBombsquad, a team of former Air Force Academy players.

The TBT’s Spokane pod replaces the Gonzaga alumni game that tipped off Hoopfest weekend in recent years.

Santangelo on partnering with TBT

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