Sports

Local basketball teams find wins over Cascades for Spokane 3-on-3 Tournament

The ‘Baba Booeys’ finished second overall. The boys are, from left to right, Teague Conder, Max Samson and Hunter Johnson. - Contributed photo
The ‘Baba Booeys’ finished second overall. The boys are, from left to right, Teague Conder, Max Samson and Hunter Johnson.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Getting ready for Mercer Island’s own Summer Celebration! 3-on-3 basketball tournament, over 25 teams from Mercer Island headed over the Cascade Mountains last month to take part in the Spokane Hoopfest.

Held over the weekend of June 27 and 28, the 3-on-3 street basketball tournament is said by organizers to be the largest of its kind in existence.

An estimated 6,400 teams, 3,000 volunteers and over 200,000 players and fans gathered in downtown Spokane for the event. The festival required 400 courts spanning 40 downtown city blocks to host all of the players.

Several teams from Mercer Island played well, and one of the best performers was the “Four Tiny Islanders” team, winning the sixth-grade tournament bracket by winning all five of their games.

This past season, all four boys were on the Mercer Island fifth-grade select basketball team that won the Eastside Travel League (ETL) Championship.

Another team, the “Baba Booeys,” competed in the competitive third-grade division and finished second overall. They lost in the finals by two points in overtime to a team reportedly hand-picked and coached by NBA legend John Stockton. The 8-year-olds competed in Hoopfest for the first time.

Dan Sampson, father of “Baba Booey” player Max, said the team was the only one in its bracket to play without a substitute. The team name, “Baba Booey,” is the nickname for Howard Stern’s producer Gary Dell’Abate.

Teammate Hunter Johnson is a student at Island Park Elementary while Max and teammate Teague Conder are at Lakeridge Elementary.

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