Organizers say Hoopfest 2009 was a "great success" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Organizers say Hoopfest 2009 was a "great success"

Not only is Hoopfest weekend a big one for participants, it's also a profitable one for businesses who've already set up their wares in Riverfront Park (Photo: KHQ) Not only is Hoopfest weekend a big one for participants, it's also a profitable one for businesses who've already set up their wares in Riverfront Park (Photo: KHQ)
Nike is selling a 20th anniversary edition shoe at Hoopfest this year. Nike is selling a 20th anniversary edition shoe at Hoopfest this year.

SPOKANE, Wash. - Day two of the worlds largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament is over and organizers say Hoopfest 2009 was a great success.  For 20 years Hoopfest has been a major part of Spokane's summer season.  The yearly event has grown tremendously since 1990, and kicked off Saturday morning in downtown city streets, and the final men's elite game is set to take place at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Organizers and local police suspect there could have been as many as 200,000 people crowding the streets in downtown Spokane this weekend for what's billed as the world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  What began as a tournament involving an impressive 500 teams has grown over the years to include as many as 6,700 teams this year.  The tournament is so big, some grade school kids surveyed for this story said Hoopfest is their second favorite holiday next to Christmas.

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Vendors started setting up their wares Wednesday and Thursday.  By Thursday afternoon you could say it was difficult to find an open plot of grass in the park. 

One of the vendors, Tim Patterson, said Hoopfest is one of the 24 events he'll attend across the Northwest this year.  He opened his business a few years ago and says Hoopfest is his biggest money maker.

"Just by the numbers, that other food vendors have told me, what they've done in the past.  And just the sheer numbers of people that will be here," said Patterson.

Streets in downtown Spokane began closing down Friday evening so crews could set up the 449 basketball hoops and mark the temporary courts with tape.  A 40 block area from Browne to the east, Monroe to the West, Mallon at the Flour Mill to the north and 1st Avenue to the south will be closed to traffic until Sunday night.  To help players and spectators get around, STA created a bus route labeled the "Hoop Loop" which riders can take for $1.

Spokane's Hoopfest has grown so big, shoemaker Nike has even come out with a 20th anniversary edition shoe and basketball.

The weather was a slam dunk this weekend.  Saturday started cool with lows in the 40s.  Clouds rolled in Saturday afternoon to keep temperatures near normal in the upper 70s.  The weather will heated up on Sunday, with highs in the low 80s.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar was on hand for the event, though he wasn't in town to participate.  The NBA's leading scorer instead gave a speech and signed copies of his latest book.

Injuries and Medical issues:

Doctors are seeing less cases of dehydration this year because of the cooler weather but would like to remind competitors to drink plenty of fluids, staying away from energy drinks and other sugary substances. They say water is the best thing you can drink right now.

Officials with Premera blue cross tell us they have seen a total of 11 cases of dehydration, 339 general wounds, 127 blisters, 17 fractures, 252 sprains and 189 other minor injuries. One person was transported to the hospital with a more serious head injury.   That's a total of 935 for the two days of Hoopfest, which officials say is above average.

Elite Championships:

TBA took on Ex-Lady Grizz in the Women's Elite finals and Holly Tyler and the Ex-Lady Grizz took the championship by a final of 20-17.

In the men's 6''and under division it was Associated Messenger taking on the Pterodactyls, and Associated Messenger went on to take their third straight Hoopfest Championship in a close game by a final of 20-18.

And in the Men's Elite 6'' and over division it was former Zag David Pendergraft and Team Tonicxs taking on Seattle's Finest in the finals and the former Gonzaga standout becomes the first former Zag to win in the 6'' and over division, as they got the win 20-18.

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