Monday, April 22, 2024

Growth equals new opportunity for SilverHoops

Local Editor | April 2, 2024 1:00 AM

KELLOGG –– Each year Kellogg’s SilverHoops 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament gets bigger and more popular, and 2023 was no different. 

“Last year was our largest event ever, with over 180 registered teams,” organizer Ethan Wendt told the News-Press. “This incredible growth has led us to install new hoops on Railroad Ave to accommodate the increasing number of participants and spectators.” 

For the SilverHoops organizing committee, it seems that every new milestone means there’s a new hurdle for them to clear in preparation for the next year.

The event has cemented its claim as North Idaho’s largest three-on-three basketball tournament, with five consecutive years of growth – each year requiring more and more sponsorship dollars to pull off.

Now, the event is rivaled by only Wallace's annual Blues Festival in terms of size and success in the Silver Valley.  

“We are immensely grateful for the support of our dedicated volunteers and sponsors, whose contributions are instrumental in making SilverHoops a success each year,” Wendt said. “As we continue to expand and evolve, we are actively seeking new backboard sponsors and volunteers to join us in our mission to promote basketball and community engagement.” 

Sponsorship is a major part of what keeps SilverHoops going, whether that’s paying for the t-shirts before the registration fees are collected, making sure the facilities are well-maintained, and that the event features amenities like restrooms, and prizes for competitions.

Sponsors for the event enjoy several benefits, including free team registrations, premier ad placements, and supporting a large community event. 

For the 24th anniversary of the event, Wendt and his team are working to make sure that the tournament continues to provide opportunities for teams of all ages, while also working with the local businesses to ensure that they can accommodate the large influx of visitors that descend upon Kellogg for the July event. 

This has included changing the format of the tournament and expanding the literal playing field to make sure that there is enough space for everyone to come and enjoy. 

One of the biggest changes they’ve made was turning the first day of the event into a round-robin, pool play day. This encourages people to stay for the weekend – instead of eliminating teams on Saturday and effectively reducing the turnout on Sunday. 

“Keeping teams around for both days is good for the vendors, sponsors, and local businesses,” Wendt said.

Last year, more than 2,500 people from across the region made their way to the courts at Teeters Field to participate or spectate at the event – which put a lot of eyes on the event’s sponsors. 

The committee has planned to use the 24th anniversary of the event to celebrate a basketball legend. 

“In honor of the late Kobe Bryant and his enduring impact on the game of basketball, this year we will be featuring special Kobe-inspired player shirts, paying tribute to his legacy and influence,” Wendt said. “We are excited to showcase our tournament and the spirit of basketball in our community.”

Registration for the SilverHoops 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament opens on May 1, with the tournament falling annually on the final weekend of July. 

Any business interested in becoming a SilverHoops sponsor can reach out to the Silver Valley Chamber of Commerce at (208) 784-0821.