An Ode To Hoopfest

It was the summer of Oooh fiivve (sing to the tune of Summer of 69’)

Five years ago, in a house on Desmet Street off the Gonzaga campus, (most likely not suitable for living by anyone other than college students), I was “picked up” by Johnny Law.

..actually “picked up” isn’t the correct term. More like he talked to me between swigs of Jack Daniels and Coke (he had only recently discovered this combination) and I was happy to have someone to talk to since I only knew one other person at the party. By the end of the night he had my number, and I had explained to him what Hoopfest was—how could someone living in Spokane not have a clue about its most famous holiday coming up in one short week?

Growing up, Hoopfest was always my favorite event of the summer. One year I think I had something like 15 family members playing on different teams. That was the year my Dad tried to relive his youth and ended up with a bum ankle for the rest of the year. We were really all just happy that he and my uncle didn’t suffer heart attacks. I’ve played on a court within 50 yards of a knife fight, I’ve witnessed a mother run onto the court and punch an opponent of her son’s team, I’ve lost my temper and yelled at one of my opponents parents (I contest he yelled at me first)—this event really brings out the best in people. Those are all obviously extreme examples that the Hoopfest committee wouldn’t appreciate me reminding people of. For every crazy parent or person re-living their non-glory playing days, there are lots of great people coming together to put on the largest 3-on-3 event in the U.S.—it’s an awesome event. I love running into people I haven’t seen in years, I love watching my cousins play, I love watching my brothers and sister play—heck I love watching strangers play. As you can imagine, the people watching is also phenomenal.

A week later Johnny Law proceeded to follow myself and about 15 of my girlfriends from college around for the entire weekend. Since I had only seen him once before people were surprised at this development, but only a few of them were creeped out by our new ginger stalker. Although our team was at least 75% hungover come Sunday, we somehow managed to win the Losers Bracket (if you would’ve seen our ragtag bunch playing—this victory would amaze you). Michele also threw what I think was the best Hoopfest party ever.

The rest as they say—is history.

The next couple years after that Johnny Law and I played on a team together (we were terrible), and now each year this weekend rolls around I’m bummed out that I can’t go back and get my people-watching fix for the year. The ISTE Conference that my organization puts on falls on Hoopfest weekend every year so I have to put on my big girl pants on and go to work. This year I’ll be running around like a crazy person all weekend, and Johnny Law will be confined to our apartment cramming his mind with all that law garbage while a lot of our old buddies are officially kicking off summer.

To get my fix this year, I dug up some old videos one of our friends, Eric Lindstrom put together. He is becoming quite the filmmaker so I want to give him a little shoutout here if you haven’t heard of him yet. He’s getting married this year (congrats!) and he’s started up a company in San Diego called Faded Twilight Productions. If you’re in the San Diego or Spokane area you should check him out.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Aaron on June 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Is that a pre-law school Johnny Law at 1:13?


  2. Posted by Johnny Law on June 25, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Just wanted to give a little more backstory to how I met the lady. When she says, “by the end of the night he had my number,” that was all her doing. We got to the end of the night, we had talked a lot, and I liked her, but I was too big of a wuss to ask for her number. She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “Do you want my number?” I said, “Sure.” And therein began the best decision I ever made.


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