Terry Kelly, former board member and long-time Hoopfest participant, recalls Hoopfest memories dating back to when he began to play in the first installment of the tournament in 1990— when he also became a board member of 26 years.
Terry isn’t the only family member who has etched his name into the Hoopfest community. His wife, Cyndi, and two sons, Tate (25) and Parker (23) have also made names for themselves. Cyndi provides food on a volunteer basis for staff and volunteers of Hoopfest while Tate and Parker are active participants on and off the court. Over the last several years they put together a family taping committee that consists of not only his immediate family but his brother and sister’s families as well.
“We’ve been involved a lot of different ways over a long period of time. It’s really been a pleasure for all of us to plug into such an exciting event.”
Terry has been plugged into the inland northwest for some time now—having gone to Gonzaga Preparatory School and then on to Washington State University to continue his basketball career. While at WSU he received a law degree, molding him into a double-edged sword for the board with a background in basketball and law.
But his favorite Hoopfest memory?
“Goes back to the staff electing to have Parker be on the poster,” he said.
In years past, poster participants ranged from Gonzaga legends John Stockton, Adam Morrison and Dan Dickau to big named WSU and EWU football and basketball players. Every year, careful consideration and deliberation go into deciding who will go on the Hoopfest poster. The 2015 “Let’s Dance” poster was no different.
Seen on the poster are former standout Gonzaga players, Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos, who led the Bulldogs to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament last year. The third player is Kelly’s son, Parker. Parker had a standout season himself, helping the EWU men’s basketball team just its second big dance appearance in school history.
“[The poster] will always be in my house and it will hold a very special place in my heart,” Kelly said. “That is something that a lot of people probably can’t appreciate the amount of effort that went into that for him and just the blessing it was for him to be recognized in that way. I have nothing but great feelings and memories and a lot of gratitude.”
With 26 years now under his belt, Terry looks back fondly at his time with Hoopfest.
“It’s been wonderful to be a part of it to see what an idea that started out as nothing more than that and growing into the opportunity with the people I’ve worked with at Hoopfest,” he said. “It’s more than just a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, it’s really a celebration for the greater Spokane Community. It’s a celebration of family and friends to gather, of basketball, fitness and health.”
“I think that Hoopfest is going to continue to be a very special happening and event. Our management with Matt and his staff will figure out a way to keep it fresh and relevant.”
So the next time you find yourself on the streets of downtown Spokane on June 25th and 26th, know that you are on the Kelly’s stomping grounds—grounds they believe are meant for celebration.