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Hoopfest Women’s Elite preview: Title up for grabs in field studded with WNBA talent

UPDATED: Fri., June 28, 2019

A team of high school girls – USA Basketball, the recent FIBA 3x3 U18 world champions comprised of the nation’s top recruits – breezed through the 2018 Hoopfest elite women’s division.

Former college standouts in their late 20s, 30s and 40s breathed a collective sigh of relief when they learned the fresh-legged teenagers weren’t returning for the 30th edition of the world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

But this bracket is still full of talent, including Hoopfest regulars such as former Gonzaga star Janelle Bekkering, whose YCC Canada squad finished second last year after winning the elite crown in 2017.

Bekkering, 30, is teamed up with former Canadian college stars Robyn Buna (Simon Fraser), Stephanie Price (Lethbridge) and Hilary Annich (Calgary).

FarmgirlFit is another team expecting to make a title push, featuring ex-Gonzaga and Lewis and Clark star Heather Bowman and former local stars, including Hayley Scroop (Saint Mary’s/Lewis and Clark), Lexie Nelson (Eastern Washington) and Stacy Clinesmith (UC Santa Barbara/Mead).

Clinesmith, 41, who played a couple of seasons in the WNBA, is now as assistant coach at Gonzaga.

She isn’t the only player in her bracket to have worn a WNBA jersey.

After starring at Louisville and leading the Cardinals to the Elite Eight in 2013 and 2014, point guard Shoni Schimmel went on to become to a two-time WNBA All-Star for the Atlanta Dream.

Schimmel, who grew up in Hermiston, Oregon, is teamed up with former NCAA Division I players Tisha Phillips (EWU/Lewiston), Ashli Payne (EWU) and Abby Scott (New Mexico State).

Bamm aims for four-peat

For the past three years, former EWU star Brianne Ryan, the 2012 Big Sky Conference Most Valuable Player, has teamed up with her brother, former Campbell guard Andrew Ryan and Mt. Spokane-raised brothers Matt Dorr (San Diego) and Mike Dorr (Carroll) in the co-ed elite division.

The team of sharpshooters – Bamm – is aiming for its fourth consecutive co-ed elite title.

Talent-stocked teams such as Globe Bar N Kitchen will be looking to dethrone the defending champions.

Globe Bar N Kitchen features former Gonzaga and Mead standout Jazmine Redmon, her sister Jade Redmon (Nevada), former Nevada wide receiver Dominic Christian and Kurt Schwamp, a former hoops standout at the University of Mary (North Dakota).

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