KETTLE FALLS, Wash. — Imagine playing Hoopfest right before a life changing moment.
Although it was virtual this year, that's what Josh Boone of Kettle Falls did on Saturday when he played Hoopfest and then got married a couple hours later.
First, Hoopfest was clear of Josh's wedding date, as it is always played on the last weekend of June. Then it got moved to August and at one point was still planned to be played in person in the traditional three-on-three format.
"My initial thought was I was disappointed," Boone said of the time his 23 year Hoopfest streak could have been snapped. "It was definitely more important for me to get married than play in Hoopfest though."
However, when Hoopfest went virtual it opened a door that Boone could fit in both and that's what he told his wife.
“I told her, I was like, ‘Hey I can do this now.’ And she was like, ‘Well you've been playing forever so just do it,'" Boone said.
His wife, Crystal Boone, has grown fond of Hoopfest over the years since meeting Josh. That's probably why she was completely okay with him playing before their wedding.
“He’s a champ," Crystal said. "I’m just beyond so proud of him. I would have never thought like okay he’s going to ply basketball and then boom we’re going to get married. I never would have thought that was going to happen. But I know him very well and he loves the basketball thing.”
Their love story began in 2016. They attended Hoopfest that year together, it was Crystal's first time and she also met Josh's family for the first time.
“When I met him he was talking about it and he was so passionate about it," she said. "I was just like, 'Oh okay I want to go. Let’s do it.'"
Crystal has only missed one day of Hoopfest since as she now shares Josh's passion. That's how basketball and Hoopfest became a part of their happily every after.
“Now she's definitely in all the way," Josh said with a laugh.
While virtual Hoopfest isn’t ideal for many, it worked out pretty well for Josh.
“It means everything," Josh said. "That’s all I can pretty much say.”