Every year, during the MHSAA Finals, MSU also plays host to Hoopsfest, a three-day celebration of basketball. Club teams compete, three-point competitions, dunk contests, and more are open to the public as they celebrate high school hoops. Again this year, the Everett Unified basketball team will make their run at another championship. The best part is that anyone who has a ticket to today’s 1:00 Semi-final game gets in to the 4:00 Unify tournament for free! The event is held all day at the Jenison Field House, and one part of Hoopfest is the Special Olympics Project Unified basketball events. Many fun attractions are held, such as slam dunk on lowered rims, 3-point shootout, and half court rainbow shoots. One of the activities, JumpBall Jamboree, is made up of grades between 3rd-8th students participating in a wheelchair tournament. “The contests like that always make it fun,” said senior Unified basketball player Aaron Jackson. “It’s always good to play with them [the Unified Players]; they always talk more than regular teams.” Everett has two basketball teams coming out this year playing, one of them including Jackson. Students with and without disabilities get together to have fun and enjoy these games, and the more people that come out the more fun it can be. Admission is just $2, but anyone going to the Everett VS Saginaw boys basketball Semifinals game has free admission into Hoopfest. The first Everett Project Unified basketball team plays at 4 p.m., and the second plays at 6 p.m. “It would be really awesome if all of the students who came to support the varsity team also came out to support the Unified team as well,” said Project Unified Coordinator Amy Robinson. Last year the Everett Project Unified team won every game, and they hope to do the same this year. “You [students] should always come out and support the game,” said Jackson. “It’s always a good game.” Also attending the game, will be Hoopie, the events mascot. “My kids always look forward to going to Hoopfest. They love running around Jenison, playing the different basketball games and being with all the kids,” MHSAA Director of Brand Management Andy Frushour said in an MHSAA article about the event.
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