'It's not just a basketball tournament to us": Missing Hoopla due to COVID hit longtime competitors hard

Stories of tradition, camaraderie, friendship and family surrounding Hoopla are almost too numerous to tell.

Oregon’s largest 3x3 basketball tournament, played in the streets surrounding the Oregon state Capitol, brings thousands together each and every year – for countless reasons, the love of basketball being forefront but also for myriad others that often go much deeper.

For Team Sparkle and Clean, Hoopla has been a tradition that’s brought together a group of family and friends for over a decade. Each and every year, its players have converged from locations up and down the West Coast to participate in not just a basketball tournament but a long, mid-summer weekend that has spawned memories for a lifetime.

The bond of the four men who make up Sparkle and Clean was also put in sharp perspective a year ago when Hoopla was forced to cancel its yearly tournament because of COVID-19 restrictions – something the entire Hoopla community was forced to cope with. Now, with Hoopla’s return, the restoration of that community is one reason, among many, to celebrate.

“On my side of the family, it’s kind of bigger than Christmas,” Jarrod Sumpter, the catalyst behind Team Sparkle and Clean, recently told Hoopla going into his squad’s 12th straight tournament (minus last year’s hiatus) together.

Comprised of Sumpter, who lives in Denver, Adrian Cendoya of Seattle, Roche Cendoya of Los Angeles, and Carlos Suarez of Portland, Sparkle and Clean first played in Hoopla 12 years ago. It all came to be when Sumpter, living in Seattle at the time, heard about the tournament and told his close friend Adrian Cendoya.

They played the first year as the Bayside Tigers.

“We were just testing it out to see how fun it was,” Sumpter said.

Something must have left an imprint because they returned for another year, this time under the name Gang Green. After that first season, Sumpter’s uncle, Jim Palmer, the owner of Sparkle and Clean Janitorial in Salem, had the group and other friends and family over for a BBQ after the first day of competition.

That not only became part of the tradition but also exploded into an annual event that draws sometimes in the 100s. Palmer also decided to sponsor Sumpter’s team after their second year participating.

“When the date comes around, everyone looks forward to it,” Palmer said.” For Carla and I (his wife), those guys are almost like our kids... this is the time of year we get to see you. And it was really somber not being able to see everybody together. So this year, it’s going to be special. We’re going to look forward to having everyone here.”

A BBQ turned blow-out party, the competition in Hoopla, the brotherhood, it all became part of the
draw for four out-of-towners to a streetball tournament in the middle of downtown Salem.

“I still remember the very first BBQ. Just seeing how much it’s grown and how much we’ve come
together and changed and life has changed has been really cool,” Adrian Cendoya said. “We keep
spreading farther and farther apart, but Hoopla brings us together.”

It made such an impact on the team that Sumpter put together a video documentary two years ago highlighting their 10-year anniversary of playing in Hoopla.

“It’s been a really cool experience for all of us,” he said. “It’s not just a basketball tournament to us
anymore.”

But that’s not the only reason why Sparkle and Clean make the effort to include Hoopla on their
calendars every year. The growth of the tournament year in and year out, its organization, increased level of competition while also maintaining sportsmanship and its emphasis on making it an inclusive, family-orientated event are other reasons why they never miss out on Hoopla.

“This tournament is just way more wholesome, way more family orientated, kids everywhere, dogs
everywhere; it’s just a good time, and it’s a completely different environment than you get in other
tournaments,” Roche Cendoya said. “It’s a totally different tournament.”

Sumpter said everything from the referees to improvements made to the street surfaces that house the courts to the volunteers all set Hoopla apart.

“To be honest, the way the tournament is put together is impressive to us,” Sumpter said. “Adrian and I have played in other tournaments, and not to throw them under the bus, but it’s just not the same. We enjoy the people, everybody that gets together for the tournament, honestly … it just seems like it keeps getting better and better.”

The four teammates and all those surrounding them plan on making Hoopla XXII extra special this year – especially with the perspective gained after losing it for a year.

“The fact that we couldn’t do it, and now this year it’s back, I’m just excited to get there and get
together with the guys and go out and compete,” Suarez said. “Just enjoy friends, family and basketball, just the whole weekend.”

Hoopla XXII will be played the weekend of Aug. 7-8, 2021, in the streets surrounding the Oregon state Capitol building in Salem, with events beginning Thursday, Aug. 5. 

About Hoopla
Believed to be the second largest tournament of its kind in the world, Hoopla features roughly 1,000+ teams, 4,500 participants, 1,000+ volunteers, and thousands of spectators at one of the best imaginable venues – in the shadows of the Oregon State Capitol Building on Court, State and surrounding streets in downtown Salem. Along with the Hoopla-affiliated Cherryfest NW and The Salem Winter Brewfest, the non-profit Hoopla Association has generated more than $750,000 for local organizations and causes since it was founded in 1999.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #HooplaIsBack.

Hoopla adding Unified Division & Free Unified Clinic in 2021  

 Thanks to a partnership with the Salem-Keizer School District and sponsorship from Green Acres Landscape and iWingz, Hoopla XXII is expanding access to student-athletes with special needs

For years, Hoopla has been Oregon’s biggest 3x3 street basketball tournament, enjoying strong growth annually in teams young and old, male and female, skilled and recreational.

This year at Hoopla XXII presented by Capitol Toyota and Dutch Bros., the granddaddy of all 3x3 events in Oregon is expanding its offerings to student-athletes with disabilities through the creation of a new Unified Division and a new Free Unified Basketball Clinic.  These events were built in consultation with educators in the Salem-Keizer School District, who are generously supporting the effort.  The new initiatives also are possible because of sponsorship provided by Salem-area businesses Green Acres Landscape and iWingz. The support from Green Acres and iWingz will cover all participation entry fees for teams playing in the Unified Division at Hoopla and also will underwrite the costs associated with the free basketball clinic as well.

“We are thrilled about this step we are taking in making Hoopla more accessible,” said Hoopla Tournament Director Jason Unruh. “We work very hard to be sure we are as inclusive as possible to every population and group we can be. Yet, to truly be inclusive and welcoming to students with disabilities, we simply need to do more.  So with the help of our friends in the Salem-Keizer School District, who have been instrumental in helping us design ways to improve our offerings, and then thanks also to the support of Green Acres and iWingz, this year we are taking big steps that way. The new division and the free clinic are both going to be wonderful additions to Hoopla, and we could not be more excited about growing Hoopla in this way.”

Unruh said that the Green Acres Landscape/iWingz Unified Division will be co-ed in nature and feature a mix of high school athletes with special needs and their partners.  Hoopla has worked with local high schools to sign up a number of teams, and interest already has exceeded expectations, according to Unruh.  He expects the Free Unified Basketball Clinic to be well attended as well.  “Everything is taking shape,” remarked Unruh, “but none of it would have been possible without community support and involvement. We are really thankful to everyone who is helping make this possible.”

“We are excited to support Hoopla’s efforts to involve students with disabilities in what is a great community event,” said Rich Kansky, president of Green Acres Landscape.  “One of our core values as a company is strengthening the community. Hoopla has done that for years by bringing people from all walks of life together for a fun weekend-plus of healthy activity and competition. Sponsoring the new Unified Division and the Free Unified Basketball Clinic is a special opportunity for us, because these new programs will help Hoopla better serve an important part of our community that too often gets left on the sideline. This is a winner for everybody.”

Green Acres has a history of investing in the community, often, for example, working with DSP Connections on special occasion events for families with individuals with disabilities at Christmas, Easter, and Halloween.

Paul Xin, the owner of iWingz, has strong ties to basketball in the area. A former prep player, Xin runs youth basketball programs and training through Team Icon locally in Salem, making the Hoopla partnership a natural one for iWingz.

The Free Unified Basketball Clinic presented by Green Acres Landscape & iWingz will be held on Hoopla’s Championship Court at Hoopla XXII on Thursday, August 5th at 9:30am. For more information about playing in the Green Acres Landscape/iWingz Unified Division or attending the Free Unified Basketball Clinic presented by Green Acres Landscape & iWingz, please contact Hoopla at 503-881-6066.

About Hoopla

Believed to be the second largest tournament of its kind in the world, Hoopla XXII presented by Capitol Toyota and Dutch Bros. will feature roughly 1,000+ teams; 4,500 participants; 1,000 volunteers; and thousands of spectators.  Held at one of the best imaginable venues – in the shadows of the Oregon State Capitol Building on Court, State and surrounding streets in downtown Salem – Hoopla and the non-profit Hoopla Association have generated more than $750,000 for local organizations and causes since it was founded in 1999.

Follow Hoopla on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @oregonhoopla

#HooplaIsBack

About Salem-Keizer School District

Salem-Keizer School District (24J) is a school district in Oregon that serves the cities of Salem and Keizer. It is the second-largest school district in the state with more than 40,000 students and nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Salem-Keizer Public Schools serve more than 172 square miles of Marion and Polk counties.

About Green Acres Landscape, Inc.

Since 1992 Green Acres has been trusted landscape partners for thousands of customers throughout Oregon. From two guys pushing lawnmowers to now over 100 team members, they continue to focus on the basics — great listening, solid communication, and exceptional results. Green Acres offers full landscape options—from custom outdoor installations to maintenance solutions—that are safe for kids, pets, and the planet.

About iWingz

Locally-owned, iWingz features wings, beer and build-your-own mac-‘n-cheese.  They also offer mouthwatering sides to go with more than 30 wing flavors. iWingz has local brews, wines, and spirits along with fresh fruit lemonade to wash it all down.

About DSP Connections

DSP Connections (dspconnections.org), located in Stayton, Oregon, is committed to providing families with the support they may need to accomplish daily tasks. They take pride in being loving and compassionate, with a talented staff wanting to help those with disabilities.

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"We have never been more excited to put this event on for our community": Hoopla organizers plan tournament to remember after year absence

The state’s largest tournament of its kind and the second largest in the world will be held on the streets surrounding the Capitol building Aug. 7-8, 2021 

Screen Shot 2021 06 15 at 02.32.28

We were all tested in 2020, there’s no doubt. Sporting events and aspects of related life were among the many things we normally took for granted hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Stadium and arena lights went dark and courts and fields were left empty, including the streets surrounding the Oregon Capitol last summer as Oregon Hoopla was forced to postpone its annual 3x3 basketball tournament. 

Things are slowly changing for the better in 2021, and Hoopla couldn’t be more excited to announce that Oregon’s largest 3x3 basketball tournament is back. Hoopla XXII is once again ready to roll and set for another weekend of basketball and community fun Aug. 7-8, 2021!  

"I have never been more excited to put this event on for our community,” Hoopla tournament director Jason Unruh said. “It is a highlight for so many people and to be back after missing last year and will make it that much more special for our teams, fans, volunteers and sponsors. Our crew is as motivated as it has ever been to provide the most meaningful and memorable event that we possibly can. It is shaping up to be a magical weekend."

Team registration for Hoopla XXII and the Kona Ice Friday 2x2 Tourney is open now at www.oregonhoopla.com/register. Other important dates are as follows:

  • Monday, June 21:  "Early Bird" registration deadline (save $20 per team!)
  • Thursday, July 22:  Hoopla XXII team registration deadline
  • Tuesday, Aug. 3:  Kona Ice Friday 2x2 Tourney team registration deadline

Organizers plan memorable event in 2021

For everyone who has offered their support and stuck with Hoopla during a year rife with challenges, tournament organizers couldn’t be more thankful. As such, organizers are taking steps to make sure Hoopla XXII is one of the most memorable in its history. 

New divisions have been created to create a more competitive and rewarding environment for all participants. Hoopla has added Men’s Division V for the, well, less inclined but still basketball loving group; Family Recreational With Minor(s) allowing for kids to play in a more relaxed environment; and 50 & Older Division. Hoopla will also experiment with some new formats in the 17U and 11U Divisions and organizers are hopeful that this will result in a better experience for more teams. As usual, Hoopla will offer competitive and recreational divisions for boys and girls from 16U down to 12U as well as divisions for 10U down to 7U. 

"Hoopla will be experimenting with some new formats in a couple of divisions and we have also added some new divisions for adults,” Unruh said. “All of the additions and trials are in a continuing effort to make Hoopla the best and most quality three-on-three basketball experience around."

Starting with a kick-off party and 2x2 tip-off tournament Thursday, Aug. 5, this year’s event will feature the Free Kids' Clinic presented by Drs. Howerton, Hopkin, Kennedy & Clark on Friday, Aug. 6, Kona Ice Friday 2x2 Tourney and popular skills competitions including the Capitol Toyota 2-Ball Contest, Pepsi Hot Shot Contest, Hampton Inn & Suites Free Throw Contest, Oregon State Parks Skills Challenge, Columbia Bank 3-Point Shootout, Win-A-Toyota Shooting Challenge, and – of course – the Dutch Bros. Slam Dunk Contest throughout the weekend. 

For a full schedule of events, visit oregonhoopla.com/week/events

COVID precautions to be taken

Organizers also understand that questions and concerns may still remain in regard to the effect COVID will have on this summer’s tournament. The tournament fully expects the landscape to look different in August than it does today, so guidelines at this time are fluid. But tournament organizers will be taking the utmost precautions to ensure the event is safe for fans and participants. 

"Hoopla is committed to following all state, county and city guidelines in place at the time of the event to ensure the safest and healthiest event we possibly can,” Unruh said. “As the event draws closer, we will have a clearer picture as to what will be required of teams, fans, etc., and will communicate those requirements appropriately."

Hoopla looks forward to seeing you at the Grand-Daddy and largest of all Oregon 3x3 events this summer! 

Hoopla XXII: Ready to Roll August 7-8!

Greetings Hoopla Friends,
 
We are excited to announce that Hoopla XXII is ready to roll this upcoming August 7-8, 2021!  
 
Team Registration for Hoopla XXII and the Kona Ice Friday 2x2 Tourney is open right here at www.oregonhoopla.com/register.  Take note of the following dates:
 
Friday, 4/30:  Team Registration opens
Monday, 6/21:  "Early Bird" Registration deadline (save $20/team!)
Thursday, 7/22:  Hoopla XXII Team Registration deadline
Tuesday, 8/3:  Kona Ice Friday 2x2 Team Registration deadline
 
We look forward to seeing you at the Grand-Daddy and largest of all Oregon 3x3 events this summer! 
 
The Hoopla Team
#Hoopla-Is-Back!
 

We Will Hoop Again!

SALEM, OR - Friday, April 24 - Covid-19 has changed the landscape for everyone in America. Our hearts go out to anybody battling the virus, and to all of the folks working so hard to contain and eradicate it from being a threat. Thanks to everyone doing whatever they can to defeat this virus.

To our Hoopla friends, fans, volunteers, participants, sponsors and more - we just want to say one thing - WE WILL HOOP AGAIN!  

Our hope is that will be this year on August 8-9. We are planning with that date and goal in mind. If, however, we are unable to play on those dates due to governmental restrictions or guidelines, we want everyone to know we have alternative dates and contingency plans in the works that we feel very good about.  We do not intend to cancel Hoopla XXII if we can not play in early Augusts; but instead we will conduct the event at whatever is an appropriate time further down the calendar.  

So, hang in there.  Good times are ahead.