GALLIPOLIS — As Independence Day approaches as one of the biggest holidays of the year, so also comes one of Gallipolis City Park’s largest events.
The Hoop Project, a three-on-three basketball tournament, will return July 15 and 16. With a proposed 15 courts to be placed predominantly alongside First Avenue by City Park, event organizer Robbie Pugh estimates around 200 teams of up to eight players each to take part in the tournament. Roughly 1,500 players are expected to attend.
The final day to register to play in the tournament is July 10. Pugh said teams as far as Florida had committed to competing in the tourney.
The tournament traditionally consists of a double elimination tournament bracket with boys, girls, men and women divisions ranging from the ages of eight and under to 36 and up. The men’s open division will offer a $2,500 first place prize along with the tourney’s traditional slam dunk contest prize of $1,000. Courts are 50 by 50 feet. Each game will have two 15 minute halves with a five minute half-time.
“We partnered with a company called Court Kings,” said Pugh. “They’ll come and bring their guys and an all-star game before the dunk contest.”
Saturday night’s festivities begin at 8 p.m. and along with Court Kings, Froggy Fresh (formerly known as Krispy Kreme) and Money Maker Mike, both viral Youtube rappers, will be present to entertain the crowds with some of their songs. Fresh is known for having over 11 million views for a rap music video titled “The Baddest.” Pugh said the pair would potentially be performing their song “Dunked On” during their performance at the Hoop Project.
“We’re offering the cash prize (and entertainment) to attract more talent from across the country,” said Pugh.
The Hoop Project first started in 2013 as an event formed by the Downtown Revitalization project as a way of attracting visitors to downtown Gallipolis in the hopes of increasing business to the area.
Professional medical staff and cooling tents are anticipated to be present at the tournament.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.