In addition to Hoopfest being the world’s largest 3on3 basketball tournament, it is also a family-friendly, community-driven event. Don’t let that fool you. Competitive games were happening all across the #Hoopfest2017 site, especially on Nike Center Court.
Nike Center Court is home to Hoopfest’s Elite Divisions presented by JBL/Huppin’s. With a high level of playing experience, the hoop action on Center Court is electric; from long-range three’s to stifling defense, competitiveness is in full force. As in any game, there can only be one team standing at the end. From our Elite Divisions, we would like to congratulate the following teams on their grind to becoming the Champions of their Court. If you want to see each team’s journey to the championship, click on the link following the team name to take a look at their bracket.
Men’s Open Elite: Team LeeHayes (Bracket #3)
The 6-7 Marc Axton was an All-Conference selection at Eastern Washington University before playing professionally overseas. Robert “Big Shot” Lippman was a Second Team All-State player at Northwest Christian School, before stellar careers at Spokane Falls Community College and Northwest Nazarene University. The quartet enjoyed professional stints in Europe, Australia and Japan. Mike Hart became a fan favorite at Gonzaga because of his effort on the floor. The 6-6 guard was named the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year by the West Coast Conference. Parker Kelly enjoyed a stellar career at Eastern Washington. The Spokane native scored over 1,000 points at EWU, making 210 three-pointers. Kelly also added Men’s Open Elite Division 2017 MVP to his collection of accolades!
Men’s 6′ and Under Elite: Team Charlie’s Gold (Bracket #10)
In 2011, Craig Hanson took the title and six years later he was seeking another. Justin and Daniel Bright captured the 2010 title. Justin graduated from Central Valley in 2003, where his quickness was a handful for defenders. His older brother, Daniel, played collegiately at the Community Colleges of Spokane. The trio fell to Desert Horse in the 2015 championships, 20-16. Charlie’s Gold added Stephen Vargas to the lineup this year. At 6-0, Vargas provided more size, and it doesn’t hurt he also brought collegiate experience to the team as well. Congratulations to the MVP of the Men’s 6′ and Under Elite Division, Craig Hanson for battling with his team and coming out as champs!
Women’s Elite: Team YCC Canada (Bracket #5)
Former Zag Janelle Bekkering paces this group from north of the border. Bekkering is 19th on the Gonzaga all-time scoring list with over 1,000 points. She added over 500 rebounds in her career. She won the women’s elite title in 2015. Kimberly Lee is a crafty, speedy guard that has played professionally in Canada. She received plenty of accolades during her college career, but none more impressive than being named the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Basketball Player of the Year. With Lee’s sharp-shooting threat, Stephanie Price gels perfectly as a great passer. The 5-6 guard enjoyed a stellar run at the University of Lethbridge.
Co-ed Elite: Team BAMM (Bracket #6)
Last year’s champion was back to defend their title. Hoopfest is a family affair for Team BAMM: The Dorrs brothers traveled from Arizona, while the Ryans (sister and brother) came from southern California. The Dorrs are both 6-4, Andrew Ryan is the tallest on the team at 6-5 and Brianne is 5-10. Andrew was a constant deep-threat at NCAA Div. 1’s Campbell University from 2010-14. Brianne played at nearby Eastern Washington, where she was an All-Big Sky performer. Matt moved from Spokane Community College to the University of San Diego, where he was a key member of the team and graduated in 2011. Mike was a three-point specialist at Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
Nike Center Court once again impressed Hoopfesters with great hoop action and displayed player’s competitiveness, grit and determination. #Hoopfest2017 came with a new site and a surprise appearance by one of Nike’s signature athletes, but that didn’t take away from the 3on3 streetball.
We would like to once again congratulate the winning teams of our JBL/Huppin’s Elite Divisions. Stretch and rehydrate, hoopers! Join us on the streets of Spokane for #Hoopfest2018 – June 30 and July 1, 2018.