In the month of February, the month of love, we’re celebrating couples for whom Hoopfest holds a special place in their relationship. Meet Andrea and Doug Sprecher of Spokane.
It was Hoopfest weekend 2012 and Doug Sprecher was frantically running around ensuring his responsibilities for the weekend were all covered according to plan. He carried with him a backpack with various personal belongings, but denied anyone who offered to help carry it or pick it up for him and whatever he did, Sprecher refused to leave it out of sight.
After lunch on Saturday of the tournament, Sprecher, the Spokane Hoopfest Operating Committee member responsible for cleanup and recycling, stepped onto Nike Center Court to give a dramatic presentation on the importance of recycling throughout the weekend. Sprecher asked his then-girlfriend, Andrea, to assist him in his skit. In his encouraging recycling, Sprecher mentioned (hinted) that “anything you can find, you are able to keep.” As he mentioned this, Andrea, in her acting role, reached into the well-guarded backpack and found a diamond ring, with which Doug proceeded to get down on one knee and ask her to be his wife.
“I’m sure she was very excited about being on the news with her hair pulled back and wearing Nike gear,” Doug joked.
Even still, Andrea said yes and The Sprechers were married the following summer in 2013.
The couple had met two years earlier at an insurance convention in Billings, Mont., where Andrea strategically got Doug’s number before he realized he never got hers. Lucky for him, Andrea decided to get in touch with him and they immediately began dating following the convention. At the time, Andrea had been located in Fargo, North Dakota, but Doug quickly convinced her to come join him in Spokane.
Both Sprechers work for insurance companies, but it was in 2009 that Doug decided to take on the Hoopfest cleanup and recycling program and join the Operating Committee (OC). A Spokane native, Doug had played in some Hoopfests and despite never winning a game, was familiar with the event. Since becoming involved on the OC though, Doug has become a Hoopfest fanatic. He has enough Hoopfest gear to outfit himself seven days a week and he said he friends often joke that he’s not allowed to wear the Hoopfest logo when they meet up, since they’ve seen so much of it.
Hoopfest is really a Sprecher family affair. Doug has an 18-year-old son, Justin, who assists with Hoopfest weekend and also works for AAU as a clock operator and gym supervisor.
For Andrea, Hoopfest has become a big deal. As Doug puts it, if you’re married to him, you have to love Hoopfest, and she does.
Early in 2015 the Sprechers welcomed twins, Ian and Emma. While the pride and joy of their parents’ lives, it may limit Andrea’s involvement with Hoopfest this summer. However, it is likely the twins will make their first Hoopfest appearance, even if briefly, so they can appropriately be introduced to the greatest outdoor basketball tournament on earth.
For Doug, like many Hoopfest volunteers, the reward of the weekend far outweighs the hard work that goes into it. He has the essential and highly appreciated role of ensuring our city stays clean and well-kept even with a quarter of a million people walking the streets for three days.
If you are interested in volunteering at Hoopfest this summer, our volunteer registration is now open! Please visit www.spokanehoopfest.net/volunteer to sign up.