Hooping it up: Local teens travel to play in world's largest 3-on-3 tournament
BENNINGTON -- Local teens Brianna Legacy and Madison Little traveled across the country from Vermont to Washington state to play in the Spokane Hoopfest, the largest outdoor 3-on-3 tournament in the world.
And Little forgot her basketball shoes.
"We had to go to a place to find shoes and work our way through 200,000 people," Little said.
Thankfully for the pair, the tournament went a little more smoothly as they won one of their three games on the weekend.
The two joined teammates Cole Gerard and Ryan Grover, each whom live near the Spokane area and are linked with the Little family and played in the family division, calling themselves Spomont.
"One team we faced was all teens, another was a mom, dad, daughter and a son," Legacy said.
Games went to 20 points or 20 minutes, whichever was reached first. The team won its first game handily, 20-7, but fell to the eventual champions in the second game.
Dodging raindrops and a wet court, Spomont fell in a close match in the consolation bracket.
"It wasn't raining when we played, but there were puddles," Legacy said. "We played in the morning, the first game on Saturday and the court was slippery. You'd get passed the ball or something and you'd slip. A couple people fell, I fell a lot."
The two have been best friends since each went to Shaftsbury Elementary School. They are going into ninth grade at Mount Anthony Union High School in September.
Little has family living in Washington, and this was the first time either attempted to play in the tournament. The event has more than 7,000 teams entered and more than 450 courts in downtown Spokane.
"Maddie's family lives in Washington, we were going to go play and visit her family, they live 15 minutes away," Legacy said.
After last year's event, the two were insistent they would play in this year's competition, said Kelly Little, Madison's mother.
"It was pretty exciting, Madison's wanted to do it for years, they always talk about it," Kelly Little said. "I told her to save her money and she did, paid for her own plane ticket, did it on her own."
Brianna and Madison, whose birthdays are a week apart, each used some of their gift money to pay for the trip.
"The minute she heard Madison was going, she said, ‘I'm going,'" Becky Legacy said.
Once they arrived at the tournament, it was ‘overwhelming,' Brianna Legacy said.
"We saw them setting up, we went with Madison's uncle and drove the perimeter where the courts were and saw a bunch of trucks with the hoops," she said. "There were so many hoops."
As the tournament began, the mothers -- who couldn't travel to the tournament -- waited for word on how the two were doing.
"It was nerve-wracking," Legacy said. "I was in Boston with [older daughter] Brinkley for a showcase so I was texting Kelly, ‘Have you heard, oh my God.' I think i was more nervous then they were."
Brianna and Madison weren't thinking about that at all, but about getting wins.
"It was a good experience, you expect it to be crazy because it's street ball, but it's not," Legacy said. "In our last game, during the timeout we were down six and a kid came over and was like, ‘You can do it, you're Spomont,' It was cool that he was into our team."
This year, the pair was just happy to play but next year, they are coming for a championship.
"Cole and Ryan played with them because they didn't know anyone their own age," Becky Legacy said. "They could play and that's important to them, but they want a different team."
"We plan to play again next year and we want to win," Brianna Legacy said.
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