June 24, 2015
Bellingham Slam aiming to conquer Spokane Hoopfest
The Bellingham Slam will be looking to add more hardware to its trophy case this weekend as the team heads east to participate in the annual Spokane Hoopfest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
Forward Tyler Amaya, center Blake Poole, and guards Jacob Stevenson and Mo Anderson will be representing the Slam at the tournament, which is in its 26th year. The quartet of players were the Slam’s top four scorers during the team’s 2014 championship season in the International Basketball League. They accounted for exactly half of all the points scored over the course of the season. Amaya, who began last season as the team’s head coach, transitioned to a player/coach role midway through the year and was instrumental in helping Bellingham capture its third straight IBL title.
The Slam has competed at Hoopfest twice before, in 2006 and 2007, when the team was a member of the American Basketball Association. In fact, the Slam earned second place at the 2006 Hoopfest with a squad that featured Brian “Yogi” Dennis, Michael Parker, and brothers Jacob and Jared Stevenson.
After the switch in affiliation to the International Basketball League in 2008, the Slam was no longer able to compete at Hoopfest given that the IBL’s season often extended into July.
However, as a silver lining of sorts to the disappointment of the IBL not hosting a league for the Slam to compete in this year, the team is able to once again participate in Hoopfest.
Taking place June 27-28 on the streets of downtown Spokane, Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world, attracting over 7,000 teams and 27,000 players. The Slam will be participating in the Men’s Elite division, which is limited to 64 teams and features some of the finest players from the region.
If the Slam is able to win the Men’s Elite division at Hoopfest, they will advance to participate in the USA Basketball National 3-on-3 Championships in Colorado on June 23-26.
Hoopfest kicks off on Saturday morning in downtown Spokane, with games continuing throughout the weekend and culminating in the Elite Division championship game on Sunday evening. You can follow the Slam’s progress during the tournament on the team’s Facebook page and on Twitter.