Hoopfest players honor the fallen with team name - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hoopfest players honor the fallen with team name

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Hoopfest brings together more than 7,000 teams and with that, thousands of different team names.

For one team, that name means a lot to them. The Bearchief Ballers say it’s to honor their friend.

“May of last year, 2015 - one of my good friends Josh Bearchief actually passed away in the military and so this year we're kind of out here playing for him,” says Skyler McDonald.

Skyler says Josh was like his older brother.

“Probably one of the coolest people I ever met. He was just so caring and he did nothing for himself, everything for others,” he says. “I think that I try to live my life like him more every day.”

Josh was a Marine and was killed when the Osprey he was on crashed during a training mission.

“It was probably one of the hardest news I got from anybody,” Skyler says.

So that’s why even though Skyler’s played in Hoopfest many times, this year is extra special. 

“I hope to get out there kick some butt and take some names while I'm at it for him,” he says.

So what’s in a name for these ballers?

“More than winning, I think it's more important for me to just get out there, get his name out there, keep him alive,” Skyler says.

And in that way, Skyler hopes to help people remember the fallen.

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