Former Hoopfest assistant program coordinator, Shaniqua Nilles, signs pro basketball contract

It isn’t every day that Hoopfest is able to wish luck to a former employee as they embark on a professional basketball career.

Shaniqua Nilles, former assistant program coordinator for Spokane Hoopfest, is taking her talents to Scheeßle, Germany to persue her professional basketball career.

“It was an absolute pleasure having Shaniqua join our team at Hoopfest,” explains Bailee Neyland, Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development. “From intern to employee, Shaniqua’s energy, grace, drive and smile made her an amazing asset on our team. While we miss having her in the office, we are all so excited for her opportunity to follow her dreams and passion for hoops – that’s what Hoopfest is all about!”

Hear from Shaniqua herself as she heads overseas!

What made you pick this organization while at Gonzaga and what kept you here after you graduated?

“As a course and degree requirement, I had to find an internship. One of the options was Hoopfest and I knew immediately that was the place I wanted to intern, and it was a perfect match! I grew up playing in Hoopfest’s youth league, Spokane AAU, and I looked forward to Hoopfest Weekend each summer, so the organization was special to me.”

What are your future plans moving forward?

“Right now, I’m in Scheeßle, Germany playing professional basketball. (Also, this “ß” means “ss”… )”

Looking back at your time at Hoopfest, what are some of your fondest memories?

After much debate, she was able to describe three:

“I remember as an intern, the three of us (me, Kevin Pangos and Katie Miyakado) had to think of fun renditions of familiar games for a Hoopfest promotion at a local event – the Glow in the Dark 5K Race. Hoopfest had a presence and we interns were able to take ownership of the activation, and we created a version of Twister with neon basketballs.”

“Being asked to be one of the coaches at the Spokane AAU 8th Grade All-Star games. I have so many memories from my time playing AAU and to see this new element added was fun! So many of the players, coaches, parents and fans had a great time, and I was happy to be a part of it.”

“My first Hoopfest as a staff member was also the year Kevin Durant came to The Best Basketball Weekend on Earth … just saying!”

What do you want people to know?

“Hoopfest is so much more than the largest 3on3 basketball tournament in the world. With programs such as our Spokane AAU youth basketball league and our Ignite Basketball youth outreach program, as well as our community courts, the organization continues to find ways to positively impact the community.”

Our Hoopfest family wants to wish Shaniqua good luck abroad – we are rooting from you back home and you are making us all so proud! 

There are 1 comments for this article

  1. John R Kraemer says

    You are a beautiful person inside and out Shaq. You don’t even have to know you real well to realize this. Wishing you the best in Germany and all of your endeavors.

    John Kraemer


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