Court monitor Leland Brown is transplanted back years as he holds a printout picture of his son battling for a rebound as a young tyke enjoying Hoopfest weekend. Leland, a former participant himself, was the coach in the pictures. Just seeing his son sport his old-school “Cornerstone Christian Academy” jersey holds a special place in his heart.
After a brief hiatus from the largest 3on3 basketball tournament in the world, Leland rejoined in 2001 in a new capacity: court monitor.
Hoopfest has been a part of his life for years, and the good memories certainly stack up for Leland, but asked why he keeps coming back every year, his response was quick, and firm.
“I do it every year, because I love it,” says the 16-year court monitor wearing his 2008 Hoopfest shirt. “It’s a lot of fun!”
Requesting time off work each year is like clockwork for Leland.
“My time off revolves around open-ended trout season, Hoopfest weekend, my anniversary and my birthday,” Leland says. “I do it every year.”
His Hoopfest real estate for the last eight years has been on the corner of Broadway and Monroe, home of an adult male division. Leland’s routine is down pat. He walks to his court on Saturday morning, spends the day on his court, then drive his truck over on Sunday so he can help pack up. “They know where to put me because I always put a little note in there,” says Leland. “It’s just down the street from my house.”
But as the nature of basketball can be, Leland remembers a time in his long stint with Hoopfest where he had to throw someone out of a game. Some 10 years later, he was speaking with a coworker at the hospital he works at, talking about Hoopfest, when the he made a comment about Leland’s Hoopfest shoes.
It was then the two connected the dots.
“You’re that kid I threw out of Hoopfest for throwing a punch!” Leland exclaims. They shared a laugh.
Leland’s connections through Hoopfest are ones that he will forever cherish, just as we cherish him. His experience and poise do not go unnoticed.
“Leland is a fantastic court monitor,” Hoopfest Operations Manager Chad Smith says. “He has the perfect temperament to be a successful court monitor. He’s great with people, stays engaged with his court and I’ve never seen Leland angry, agitated or upset. He visits our office periodically throughout the year and he’s always a welcome sight.”