Team from Quincy wins bracket at Hoopfest
Like a guy who went sailing in a hurricane and lived to tell the tale, Quincy grad Johan Farias returned from Spokane’s Hoopfest, exhausted, but happy.
Farias participated in Hoopfest, a massive street basketball tournament, having played for two different teams in two different brackets.
It was fun, it was crazy, it was unforgettable, and Farias will never let it happen again.
“I told a group of buddies yes, and another group of buddies yes, so I was on two teams,” Farias explained, adding that he could barely move the day after the tournament ended.
“They gave me a big load, I would always have to guard the best player,” he said, describing himself as “dead” after the tourney.
Imagine how he would feel if he had not won.
One of the teams where Farias and his out-of-town pals played finished second in its bracket, while another, comprised of Farias and fellow Quincy-ites Ernie Serrano, Hector Serrano and Chase Petersen, finished first in its bracket.
Farias’ teams did not play at the same time until the final games.
Hoopfest is a double-elimination tournament, so while the unbeaten Quincy team reached the finals needing one more win to be crowned champs, the other team had one loss so it needed to beat the same team twice in a row to win the bracket.
So Farias played for the Quincy team in the finals, feeling like his second squad could snag one win without him. Then, the plan was, he would play the second team’s second match, win it, and be crowned champ again.
Didn’t happen. His second team lost that match, there was no second final for Farias, and his out-of-town friends, well…were kind of miffed.
“They were like, ‘We had ‘em. We got gassed and we needed you,’” Farias said.
All in a day’s work for Farias, a basketball player with Big Bend Community College last season and a soccer player for Quincy’s state runner-up team in 2016.
This was Farias’ sixth time at Hoopfest. He won in 2015 and finished second in 2016, despite hurting his ankle at one of Hoopfest’s warmup tourneys, Quincy’s beloved Dru Gimlin Streetball competition.
Spokane’s Hoopfest is the largest 3-on-3 street basketball competition in the world, with dozens and dozens of brackets, a Nike sponsorship, and a long questionnaire at registration time, which allows organizers to set teams according to not just age, but skill.
Next year, with a Hoopfest win and a second-place finish under his belt, Farias wants to try to play at Hoopfest again, but only one team this time.
Asked if the experience of winning at Hoopfest might help him at BBCC, he said he did not know. The lure of soccer is strong, and he might want to give the beautiful game another shot.
BBCC has no soccer program, so he might have to look into transferring if he wants to play soccer, Farias said, although basketball remains his first love.
“I talked to the Big Bend coach and he said that if I want, I can come back,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com