Meet the interns: Darby O’Leary

Darby standing in front of one of the few Kevin Durant posters at Hoopfest 2017.

Spokane Hoopfest is happy to provide opportunities and experience to students who choose to give us their time and talent each summer.

“Having only six full-time employees here at Hoopfest, we are always thankful for the great volunteers and interns in our community that dedicate many hours to helping us achieve our mission,” says Bailee Neyland, Director of Brand Strategy and Business Development. “They not only provide an extra set of hands to help out the office, but the ideas, energy and creativity they bring are immeasurable to our team!”

As a Spokane native and student in the Mead School District, Darby O’Leary grew up around Hoopfest. She played for eight years before taking the leap as an intern this summer, after finishing her sophomore year at Grand Canyon University.

Learn more about Darby and her experience at Hoopfest:

Why did you choose to intern for Hoopfest?

“I felt that it was going to be an awesome experience for me to gain further knowledge in the sports industry. I also love to give back and Hoopfest is the perfect opportunity because they donate money to many local charities here in Spokane and give people an opportunity to bring their basketball game to the streets whether it is just for fun or to gain more practice.”

What are you majoring in at GCU and what are your future plans?

“I am currently majoring in sports management at Grand Canyon University. My future plans upon graduation are to be in the sports world working in a marketing department for a professional team.”

Darby (right) with fellow intern Lauren Helmbrecht (left).

Outside of school, what are some of your favorite activities?

“I love hanging with my friends and family, volunteering, reading and traveling.”

What was your favorite part of being a Hoopfest intern?

“My favorite part about interning for Hoopfest was getting to know new people and gaining new friendships. I also loved seeing the behind-the-scenes part of Hoopfest, because I always played in it growing up, but to see how the weekend comes together is extremely awesome.”

Fun facts about Darby:

She learned the hard way what could happen when you jump up and down in an elevator…

On prom night after dinner at The Stacks restaurant inside of the Steam Plant, Darby and nine of her friends had too good of a time inside of the elevator. They were stuck inside for two hours before the Spokane Fire Department got them out.

“We were an hour late to prom and then when we got there the only way to get in the building (The Spokane Club) was to go up an elevator,” she said.

From the elevators to the streets… Darby played a crucial role in helping show the world what Hoopfest is all about. We want to thank Darby for her time this summer and wish her good luck in her future endeavors!

The Digital Street Team preparing for Kevin Durant’s appearance. Darby is on the right.

Hoopfest is always looking for young and motivated interns to help around the Hoopfest office. With the generosity of Bank of America, high schoolers that are looking to become Hoopfest Interns will receive a grant, as well as financial literacy training from local Bank of America employees to help the interns practice “Better Money Habits” for their future.  For more information on what interns can gain while at Hoopfest, check out this story and send your resume and cover letter to

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