Former Zag builds Spokane's version of the Dream Team - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former Zag builds Spokane's version of the Dream Team

Santangelo tries to stop the four-peat of the f5 hoops tournament Santangelo tries to stop the four-peat of the f5 hoops tournament

Liberty Lake, WA -- Every summer, f5 Networks holds an annual company outing in its Liberty Lake parking lot.  The carnival like atmosphere features catered food, snow cones, games, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.  But for the last three years, only one team has been able to call itself champions of the f5 hoops tournament, and it's no fluke.

Known as the "f5 Ballers," this team never leaves anything to chance.  The team expertly stacks the deck with a host of former college and pro athletes.  They are led by Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, former WSU college classmates Andy Reinland and Mike Peterson, and F5 Senior Vice President Greg Davis.  The team of ringers had yet to lose the championship, let alone even a single game, in each of the previous three years.  Tired of seeing the same team win year after year, a covert operation was put together to beat the Ballers at their own game. 

Wanda Walsh, an employee at f5 and standing 5' tall, was the lucky recipient of a modern day "Dream Team."  Her company reached out to former Gonzaga guard and radio analyst Matt Santangelo to lend Wanda an assist.  The Hoopfest Director jumped at the opportunity, assembling a squad of hoopsters to take down the champs.  Santangelo hand-picked a fellow sharpshooter in Parker Kelly, who was a standout basketball player at Gonzaga Prep in high school and at Eastern Washington in college.  More recently, his team won the coveted Elite Men's Championship at Hoopfest this summer.  Former Zag Casey Cavalry was a late scratch, but former Washington State Cougar Ryan Bailey was a more than capable replacement, helping the "Dream Team" dethrone the champs in a one-sided affair, 20-9.

Watch the video to see how the game unfolded.  One can only wonder if the "f5 Ballers" will raise the stakes just as the Golden State Warriors did to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers by signing Kevin Durant.  Has the "Dream Team" unwittingly started an arms race to win the company basketball tournament? We'll have to wait and find out in 2018.

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  • From manager to player: Gonzaga's Pete living out new kind of Cinderella story

    From manager to player: Gonzaga's Pete living out new kind of Cinderella story

    Sunday, January 14 2018 10:24 PM EST2018-01-15 03:24:43 GMT

    Brian Pete’s college basketball career didn’t begin with a host of recruitment letters or scholarship offers, it began with a brief conversation over postgame pizza. In just a few days, Pete went from washing jerseys to wearing one. Now, a team that became famous two decades ago for dancing in Cinderella’s slipper is now celebrating a different kind of rags to riches tale.

    >>

    Brian Pete’s college basketball career didn’t begin with a host of recruitment letters or scholarship offers, it began with a brief conversation over postgame pizza. In just a few days, Pete went from washing jerseys to wearing one. Now, a team that became famous two decades ago for dancing in Cinderella’s slipper is now celebrating a different kind of rags to riches tale.

    >>
  • No. 15 Gonzaga holds off San Francisco 75-65

    No. 15 Gonzaga holds off San Francisco 75-65

    Photo: Gonzaga AthleticsPhoto: Gonzaga Athletics

    Gonzaga had four players finish the game with double figures, led by Johnathan Williams with 17 points (Perkins 16 pts, Melson 14 pts, Hachimura 10 pts).

    >>

    Gonzaga had four players finish the game with double figures, led by Johnathan Williams with 17 points (Perkins 16 pts, Melson 14 pts, Hachimura 10 pts).

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    Photo: Twitter/@ZagWBBPhoto: Twitter/@ZagWBB

    Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, and added a career-high nine assists to lead GU as well..

    >>

    Jessie Loera led the Zags with a career-high 15 points on six-of-eight shooting, and added a career-high nine assists to lead GU as well..

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