Preparing for Hoopfest weekend is a difficult necessity. How do you recreate such an atmosphere? You need asphalt, some moody weather, yellow duct tape, the occasional shot-altering gust of wind, a snow-cone stand… but most importantly, you need hoops.
Enter Austin Dill. A Junior at University High School, Austin was one step away from upgrading from Boy Scout to Eagle Scout.
“To become an Eagle Scout, there are lots of merit badges you have to earn, but then you have to create a project that benefits the community,” Austin explains. “I knew I wanted mine to be about basketball.”
Thus, the partnership of Hoopfest, Austin and the Eagle Scout project was developed. “Boy Scouts is all about community involvement and leadership, which are similar to the values of Hoopfest.”
It’s no surprise that we were eager to help this ambitious young man. “I knew Hoopfest has put up courts all over Spokane, so it was a no-brainer that I reach out to them,” Austin states.
Born in Spokane, Austin and his family are no strangers to the largest 3-on-3 tournament in the world. “I’ve played in Hoopfest since I was six-years-old and last year I played with my family,” Austin says.
Austin’s mom, Donna Dill, nods her head in agreement. “Hoopfest is a big deal to our family,” she says. “We all really enjoy being down there and participating in the fun.”
There were many hoops Austin had to jump through to get others to participate in his project.
“I had to contact the Parks and Recreation Department, email the mayor of Spokane Valley, talk to an architect and ask the community in order to gain approval to begin construction,” Austin describes.
It looks as though Austin’s persistence and dedication is going to pay off: construction of the court began this week.
Once the court is finished, Dill will be an official Eagle Scout. That’s not the tip of the iceberg though for Austin and his promising future.
“I would love to play basketball somewhere in college,” says Austin.
No matter where he ends up, it’s safe to say that Austin will be a great asset, athletically and professionally: he’s a small forward with a big heart. We’re hoping he continues to bring his game to the streets of Spokane for Hoopfest weekend.