Partnering with Spokane Hoopfest since 1995, Toyota has continued to bring an activation to our tournament weekend that is not only exciting, but rewarding.
The Toyota Shootoff gives Hoopfesters a chance to channel their inner Kevin Durant and make a shot from a pretty substantial distance. Making the final shot at Toyota Shootoff doesn’t just get you a round of applause from an amazed crowd. This year, Toyota had the ultimate prize: a Hoopfest customized Toyota 86!
While many people hoisted the ball as close as possible to the hoop, only one man continued to make it through the rounds and is able to call the Toyota 86 his brand new vehicle.
Mike Bethely was born in Spokane, Wash., but movement during his youth led to him attending high school in Arkansas. After graduation, he found his way back to the Pacific Northwest to attend Eastern Washington University. He’s been in Spokane ever since and now is planting roots in Basketball City, USA with his wife, Ashley, and their one-year-old son.
Not only has Bethely been a member of our community, but he’s also been an active participant.
“I’m currently the Video Producer for WSU Health Sciences and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine,” explains Bethely. “I also serve on the Board for Operation Healthy Family, I’m a Co-Chair for the Inland Northwest Juneteenth Coalition and am the Co-Founder of the Love League, a men’s recreational basketball league that turns locals into legends and family and friends into fans.”
Bethely created his own recreational basketball league, so the man has to love the game, right? Right. After taking a two year hiatus due to an unfortunate ACL tear, Bethely returned to the streets of Spokane for #Hoopfest2017. And this year was a year of firsts! “I came back hoping to win a championship, but came in a close 2nd. My team name was “Love League” and this is the farthest I’ve gotten in Hoopfest,” Bethely says.
If advancing to the championship game was Bethely’s ice cream sundae, then winning the Toyota 86 was the cherry on top.
“It really was a blessing. My wife and I are looking to buy a house, so we recently moved in with family to save and pay off some things,” Bethely explains, “Being able to win the car and sell it will give us some cash to take care of those things sooner and get that house. So this win comes right on time. God’s so clutch.”
While advancing further into our tournament weekend and going home with a brand new car are all incredible highlights for Bethely, his love of Hoopfest Weekend goes beyond that.
“I love that the love of the game of basketball is spread throughout the whole city for two full days,” expresses Bethely. “The competition between the teams; the camaraderie between the players, court monitors and scorekeepers; the connections with people you haven’t seen in awhile; the time spent with family, especially ones that have flown in for the weekend; the excitement of winning things like a car!! I love it all. As a fan of the sport, I really do appreciate all that basketball does outside of the lines, and Hoopfest brings all of that into fruition.”
For the numerous other participants who did their best to win the coveted Toyota 86, don’t give up! There’s always next year, and Bethely even admitted that he’s tried to win at the Toyota Shootoff almost every year, as far as he can remember, jokingly referring to himself as “an avid donor to Hoopfest Charities.” We appreciate everyone’s efforts and contributions during the Toyota Shootoff; we can’t wait to see what will be won and who the winner will be at Hoopfest 2018.
Thank you to all who came down to #Hoopfest2017 and participated in the Toyota Shootoff. Congratulations to family-man, community-influencer and new Toyota 86 winner, Mike Bethley, on hitting this memorable shot.