SPOKANE, Wash. — Hoopfest's elite women's bracket this year was lacking in teams. When they wanted to add another squad, they knew exactly who to call: Gonzaga assistant coach and Mead alum Stacy Clinesmith.
"They called and said, ‘Hey, get a team together.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So I went and got all the young people I could find," said the 44 year-old Clinesmith.
Stacy then went and put together who’s who of college basketball staff members from the Pacific Northwest.
She first went in house and recruited Gonzaga graduate assistant Erika Bean, who played basketball at Utah.
She then went down to the Palouse and picked up WSU associate head coach Laurie Koehn.
For both of them, this is their first Hoopfest.
"I’ve heard so many things about it, and so to be out here and experience it, it’s been amazing," said Bean.
"If you love basketball, like, I don’t know what’s better than this," said Koehn.
Stacy rounded out her team with someone very familiar with the event in Gonzaga Prep and Oregon alum Oti Gildon. Not only does Gildon know about Hoopfest, she’s also a three on three champion at the USA national team level twice over.
"When I first started looking at who was available, she was one of the first ones I thought of because I knew she was coming back this summer and some point, and she’s just a beast," said Stacy of the current Oregon women's basketball staff member.
The team has cruised so far through the elite bracket. In part due to Clinesmith, who has been dominant.
"Stacy still has it," said Bean. "It’s very evident, off the dribble, shooting threes, it’s been fun. We play in practice often but to see her out here, she’s got all her fans here, it’s great."
"I love Hoopfest. I really enjoy being down here. I enjoy playing. I wanted to be in it, to tell you the truth. I just wanted to find a really good team as well," said Clinesmith.
She’s certainly found that.
Clinesmith has also found a team with the same goal this weekend.
"Well, I always want to win," said Stacy with a laugh.
"We’re going for gold," said Gildon.
"We’re walking away with a medal," replied Bean.
If you want to watch the Tomato Street Ballers play in the championship game on Sunday it is at Hoopfest Center Court at noon.