By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s that time of the year again in Oregon’s State Capital:
The annual event that surrounds the Capital Building brings some excitement to some and is the highlight of the summer to others.
“It’s very cool, it’s my favorite time of the summer, it’s Hoopla,” said McKay’s Leva Mike.
“It’s amazing,” said Dominic Ball, who’s the son of Cascade High School’s Boys Basketball Head Coach Steve Ball and the younger brother of soon-to-be-senior Damian Ball.
In Ball’s game against fellow middle schoolers from Oregon City in the 10:30 frame of the tournament, Ball and his three-on-three team cut a five-point deficit down to one with some excellent execution defensively as well as offensively in the half-court, street-ball game.
But, the ballplayers in the Oregon City uniforms found one last groove as they pushed their lead back towards five in the waning moments of the game for the win.
“We could’ve done better, got to be a little more physical I think,” said Issac Schnepp on the game/
Speaking of the physicality, though very different from school ball that Schnepp and Ball are used too with street ball rules, lessons can be taken away from the physicality of street ball that they can translate back to school ball with Schnepp and Ball making the move to Cascade High School within the next year or so.
“Well it’s giving me practice on becoming a school athlete and for school ball,” said Ball, who’s already hovering around the six-foot-mark entering the eighth grade. “So I like to think of this as practice in games, so it’s good for experience and it’s pretty fun as well.”
Gervais’ Natali Herinckx, who’s three-on-three team that features Karina Ramos and Daisy Correa just wrapped up playing against a very tough North Marion three-on-three team of Ally Umbenhower, Lindy Wing, Hannah Kinniburgh and Mar Verastegui.
“It definitely makes it more competitive because it makes you realize, ‘oh, even if though I think I’m good, there’s always someone out there to push you and push your buttons and make you work harder’,” said Herinckx.
“It definitely makes you realize that you need to be more aggressive and I think it’s going to help lot a lot,” adds Correa.
For some, Hoopla serves just overall that sense of competition regardless if your doing it for fun or whatever your reasoning is in participating in one of Oregon’s greatest basketball tournaments.
“There’s a lot of competition out here and it keeps me in shape for basketball season and keep that competitive attitude,” said 2017 McKay graduate Shaton Daniels who is planning on trying out for the Chemeketa Community College Men’s Basketball team this upcoming school year.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald