SPOKANE, Wash. -- Hoopfest got its start 25 years ago in Spokane. Steve Chandler hasn’t missed a single one since.
Of the two thousand players in Spokane's first Hoopfest, only 58 of those will be competing this year, including Chandler.
He remembers 1990 and signing up with his first team. Fast forward 25 years and Steve isn’t slowing down, although his team name might suggest otherwise--they call themselves "bones that groan."
"I love basketball,” said Chandler. “I love the game itself, the people I play with, the competition. I love the fact that I can go down to a tournament and know that I'm not going to get hurt."
Each year, Hoopfest organizers recognize the special group of players who have been to every tournament. This year, each original player received a Nike sports coat with the Hoopfest logo on it. The players will also be given a gift basket with custom Nike shoes and several other commemorative items at the event. Finally, a photo will be taken of the group to be featured in an upcoming 25th year Hoopfest celebration book.
The 58 original Hoopfest players will all be present at the singing of the national anthem on Saturday morning.