Local Hoopfest teams take first

The annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament is the largest of its kind in the world.

Correction: The original article misreported that the third-grade girls team placed third. They also placed first in the competition. The article has been updated.

Two local teams, consisting of elementary-age players, captured championships during the recent Hoopfest tournament in Spokane.

For the uninitiated, Hoopfest is a huge deal in the world of recreational, street, 3-on-3 basketball. In fact, it’s the largest tournament of its kind in the world.

Earning a tourney championship in the first-grade division were the Little Rascals. Making up the team were Trayce Gray and Zeke Anklerfelt from Buckley, Macie Murphy of Carbonado and Luke Melvin of Wilkeson.

Taking the title in the third-grade division were the Little Stingers. That team consisted of Bailee Gray and Kinsley Klemkow of Buckley and Riley Murphy and Joey Merna, both from Carbonado.

Each of the Plateau teams had to win four consecutive games to take first-place honors.

Both teams were led by Buckley parents Steven and Rita Gray.

Spokane Hoopfest is a two-day event that counts more than 6,000 teams in the various divisions, along with 3,000 volunteers and somewhere in the neighborhood of 225,000 fans. There are 450 courts taking over 45 blocks of downtown Spokane.

Bailee Gra, Kinsley Klemkow, Riley Murphy, and Joey Merna. Contributed photo