Hoopla 2022 is the second year of the Unified Division & Free Unified Clinic. The inaugural 2021 year was a great success story and outstanding participation and fun for all:
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 3×3 street basketball tournament, enjoying strong growth annually in teams young and old, male and female, skilled and recreational.
In 2021, at Hoopla XXII presented by Capitol Toyota and Dutch Bros., the granddaddy of all 3×3 events in Oregon expanded 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 XXIII on Wednesday, July 13th at 9:30am.