Two years ago, we launched an idea. An idea that we could connect a community through our collective love of basketball. On the shoulders of a global game and the Best Basketball Weekend on Earth, we set out to capture the magic of Hoopfest, amplify our entire city’s basketball accomplishments, and celebrate it all … 365 days a year. As a city, we love, follow, and support the game like no other place, and everyone is welcome. Elite competitors, everyday athletes, teams, coaches, volunteers, and fans; we are one team.
Basketball has seeped into the very fabric of Spokane’s culture and identity. The game holds the power to galvanize the community unlike any other single element. We believe sports connects neighborhoods – street by street – into healthy, thriving communities. Hooptown USA strives to enhance and strengthen those connections by growing the game in ways that all can enjoy.
Two years ago, we launched Hooptown USA. The initial launch was received with great energy and support. We declared our love for basketball, and the sport graciously accepted our proclamation. We set out to accomplish four initiatives:
- To build a state-of-the-art outdoor court complex in Riverfront Park
- Enhance our existing network of outdoor basketball courts while fusing art and basketball together through the addition of murals that inspire
- Create a Hooptown USA Hall of Fame
- Brand the city with fresh branding that will ensure that when the ball is bouncing the lights will be on.
In those two years, we not only completed the signature court complex, branded the city (literally), enhanced numerous courts, and installed three murals; we also brought 3,000 people together under the U.S. Pavilion lights in December 2019 for the largest outdoor Watch Party in Hooptown history, we put 2,000+ basketballs in the hands of athletes throughout the city, and almost to the day that we could play basketball again in the State of Washington we offered the first-ever spring Outdoor League. Connecting people, place, and sport is a core piece of our mission and we have lived it for the first two years.
Looking back at what we accomplished only makes us more excited for the future. In the next few months, we will finish two more community courts, open the Hooptown Hall of Fame and see the return of the Best Basketball Weekend on Earth, Hoopfest 2021. In the years to come, the opportunities appear endless. We are continually finding ways to build, play and love the game.
There are many things to be proud of in Hooptown USA, but the thing we are most proud of is … you!
We are most proud of the friends we have made, connected with, and shared moments with. In Hooptown, we the people make the magic. We build the game, play the game, love the game. In Hooptown, basketball is not a spectator sport, even when we are watching. It means too much to us. In Hooptown, we are one team.
Photo by Sonora Media House