HOOPFEST 2011—The Thrill of Victory, Laced With Agony

Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. It takes place in downtown Spokane, Washington, during the last weekend in June. Streets are closed and parking lots cleared to make way for the 480 basketball half-courts needed for the event.  This year there were over 7,000 teams and nearly 28,000 players participating in the tournament.  Shea Carr Jewell’s own Whitney Golob, along with her brothers and dad, were among them.

The Golob family participated in Hoopfest for the third year in a row.  Actually, dominated is more accurate. Because of their strong showing their first year, in 2010 and 2011 they were invited to play in the tournament’s “Elite” bracket, consisting of only 12 hand-picked teams who are typically ex-college/professional basketball players. Imagine the shock those players had when this family team from Olympia won that first Elite bracket!  Shock is an understatement – this is a very competitive event!

As expected, this year’s bracket proved to be even tougher than previous years. The Golob team had to come from behind to win several of the preliminary games. In the championship game, the Golobs faced the same team they had defeated to win the 2010 tournament.  Early in the game, Whitney was guarding her person when the girl made a move toward the basket.

Cartoon graphic with the words "Crash" "Smash" "Bam!"

The girl’s elbow landed a blow to the bridge of Whitney’s nose, and everyone could tell from the sound that it was definitely broken. Blood everywhere, medical team, first aid tent…the whole nine yards.

Photo of Whitney with a broken nose
What a shiner!

But get this:  The rules allow the game to be played with less than three people, so Whitney’s two brothers played the rest of the game 3 on 2 and brought home the family championship for the third year in a row—20 to 18! Tenacity and commitment run deep in the Golob clan.  Congratulations to the Golob family for another amazing win.  If you are in the area, be sure to look for the Golobs in the elite bracket on the streets of Spokane in 2012!

Photo of Team Golab, Hoopfest Champions 2011


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