EWU Shows Its Grit at Hoopfest

Eastern Washington University once again amped up festivities at Spokane Hoopfest by serving as the official diversity, equity and inclusion sponsor – and showing plenty of Eagle spirit throughout the weekend.

Thanks to a partnership with MultiCare, EWU sponsored yet another successful wheelchair basketball exhibition. EWU’s team members did a great job of engaging basketball enthusiasts in this adaptive sport. (A big thank you to 1 Stop Media and the Hoopfest Digital Street Team for sharing these amazing photos and videos!)

This event, held June 24-25, also introduced Tim Collins, EWU’s new athletics director, to the Spokane basketball community. Collins was among the initial exhibition participants on a team that included representatives from MultiCare, Amazon and Guardian Insurance, as well as EWU women’s and men’s basketball student athletes.

Collins and other participants got some quick training from Coach David Evjen on how to start, stop and dribble while playing in wheelchairs, with added expertise provided by members of the EWU wheelchair basketball team, and then the game was on. (Collins wowed the crowd by making a shot while experiencing the additional effort it takes to compete in a wheelchair.)

Sam Adams from KHQ/SWX served as the emcee and invited the audience to participate, with several rounds of individuals swapping into the rotation to get a firsthand view of how demanding the game is for athletes who compete in wheelchairs.

The weekend marked the year anniversary from when EWU President Shari McMahan, newly arrived to the community, made a first public appearance to Hoopfest, in 2022, for the Adaptive Athletics Exhibition.

EWU also made several free registrations available to area youth/young adult teams – giving players from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to experience this well-loved 3-on-3 basketball tradition.

Nothing says Eagle spirit like an encounter with Swoop. There were multiple Swoop sightings as our feathered friend made his way through downtown Spokane and showed some gritty fluff at the Mascot 3-on-3 Challenge.

Student athletes from the men’s and women’s basketball teams made appearances at the EWU tent, located near the Rotary fountain in Riverfront Park, greeting fans and signing autographs.

EWU was on a roll as the weekend continued, with Team Hub Northwest, consisting of former college players, including EWU alumni basketball players Marc Axton and Parker Kelly, going on to win the elite division for a fifth consecutive year.

Thank you to MultiCare and to the EWU student athletes, coaches, faculty, staff and community partners who helped to make this year’s Hoopfest activities a success!

EWU's Wheelchair Basketball Team showed their skills while teaching the community about adaptive athletics.