Hoopfest has several players who have the distinction of playing every year. The last weekend in June becomes a necessity for many people who want to experience the Best Basketball Weekend on Earth.
But how many players can say they have played together on the same team for 24 of the 28 years in which Hoopfest has crowded the streets of downtown Spokane?
For Spokane Hoopfest, the Rim Rippers hold the distinction of playing the longest stint as one complete team.
The Rim Rippers, composed of four lifelong friends — Identical twins Nick and Evan, Trevor and Koby — were founded in 1994, but no one can quite remember who started it.
All four hail from Cusick, Washington, a town of just 207 as of the 2010 census and 52.4 miles north of downtown Spokane. Their senior high school class at the time was just 17 students.
“We had all been friends since 1986 (since we were 3 years old) and had spent a lot of time together at school and each other’s houses,” Nick says. “I’m not exactly sure who’s idea it was to form our team, but Trevor’s dad, Mr. Pease, was our coach and facilitated our practices leading up to Hoopfest.”
Mr. Pease is still considered their coach.
And since 1994 (their first year as a team at Hoopfest), Rim Rippers has been their calling card. The team embodies its name, Rim Rippers. While none of the four can dunk, all four had the dream to soar into the sky and slam it down. But as Nick quickly points out, the genetics were never on their side.
“The name Rim Rippers … was a play on words about being able to slam dunk a basketball, something all third graders dream of,” Nick claimed. “Since we’re all under 6 feet tall, it’s no surprise that none of us are any closer to being able dunk a ball than we were in the third grade, but our name has stayed with us.”
One year away from a monumental 25th anniversary, the Rim Rippers have no plans to end its impressive streak.
“We’ve played through injuries over the years and made it back to Hoopfest when some of us lived as far away as Kentucky and Texas,” Nick says. “Coming from a small town … it’s nostalgic to see familiar faces and younger generations playing together like we did. Now we take pride in the fact that no team has played together in Hoopfest as long we have, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.”
As their lives were taken up by family and careers, each of the four members of the team have never hinted at or been unsure if they could make the trek to Spokane to see familiar faces and to, of course, battle it out on the asphalt-laden streets.
“It’s a way to see some familiar faces, rekindle our competitive spirits, and has become much more about our family and friends coming together again,” Nick acknowledged.
While Spokane Hoopfest continues to extend its history, the Rim Rippers will continue to build its dynasty as the longest tenured team in the largest 3on3 basketball tournament in the world.
“We’ve been a part of Hoopfest for many years, and as we’ve grown from the third graders that we were when we started, so too has Hoopfest,” Nick explains. “Hoopfest embodies community, activity and provides a great way for folks, both players and spectators, to get outside and take it all in.”
It’s never too late to start your own dynasty and traditions at Spokane Hoopfest. Mark your calendars for Hoopfest 2018: June 30 and July 1, 2018!
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