Hoopfest to Terry Kelly is More Than Basketball, ‘It’s a Celebration of Family and Friends’


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.

If you want to learn more about helping out with the tournament that has such special meaning for Kelly and his family, click here!

Or if you’re interested in becoming a player in Hoopfest 2016, follow this link!

There are 5 comments for this article

  1. Bill Rome says

    Great to hear about Terry and all the good he is doing. He was a great gentleman and great (intramural) player at NYU Law School and he was very coachable!

    Bill Rome
    NYU ’86

  2. says

    What a good read on such a remarkable man and great family. I played against Parker growing up and had the opportunity to be coached by Terry on several occasions. Always was a pleasure learning about both basketball and life from him!

  3. Diane Skillingstad says

    Great article! Terry Kelly has always been a class act. When my youngest son, Mike, was six years old he loved to watch high school basketball, and Terry was his favorite player. When Terry heard about Mike knowing all his stats and how much he liked to watch him play, he sent Mike one of his senior pictures on which he had written “Practice doesn’t make you perfect, but it gets you closer and closer.” Mike had Terry’s picture on his dresser for years. What a sweet, kind thing to do for a six year old!

    • bailee@spokanehoopfest.net says

      Awesome story, thank you for sharing! Another great example of why we love Terry!

  4. Mary Harvill says

    A truly outstanding family that represents Spokane’s best qualities just like Hoopfest.


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