Basketball hoops stand outside the Capitol on July 30, 2019. Streets will be closed during the weekend 3-on-3 tournament Hoopla. (Troy Brynelson/Salem Reporter)

Avry Holmes remembers attending Hoopla in elementary school when there were just 15 hoops at the event.

Now, the 27-year-old professional basketball player plans to attend Oregon’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament where there will be 48 hoops.

“It gets better each and every year,” the Salem native said.

Holmes, who will be playing professionally in Mexico later this month, is competing in the Hoopla Men’s 2x2 Invitational Tourney Wednesday and at the signature 3x3 tournament.

He said he wants to give back to the community he grew up in by attending the event.

Holmes, who attended North Salem High School, said he loves to come to the event each year and see friends and family.

“It’s just a perfect place to just catch up with a lot of people that you truly grew up with or even meet people too,” he said.

The annual event which started as a fundraiser for a local youth organization in 1999 is expected to bring thousands of people to the Capitol Mall this week.

The event kicks of Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a tip off party and 2 on 2 men’s invitational.

The main event, the 3 on 3 tournament, begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m. On Sunday events run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information is available on the Hoopla website.

Portions of State Street, Court Street, Cottage Street and Winter Street will be closed for the event.

Jason Unruh, tournament director, said he expects more than 1,000 teams to participate this year, approaching the largest amount the event has ever seen. 

“As event organizer, I get to talk to all those people and the excitement level is higher than I’ve ever seen it before,” Unruh said.

Hoopla was canceled last year due to Covid, and Unruh said this year’s event is “something people are waiting for and chomping at the bit.”

He said with construction at the Capitol, event organizers added more courts on Court Street. During this year’s event, he said games will run later to accommodate having fewer courts.

Unruh said the 2 on 2 tournament, which started four years ago as a separate tournament had about 30 teams when it began. Now, he said he’s expecting more than 100 teams Friday.

Free parking available in the underground parking structure below the Capitol Mall between Court and Center Street Friday night through Sunday. 

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected]

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