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Hoopfest latest event to fall victim to pandemic

From Mirror reports

The 2020 edition of Hoopfest, held annually in Tyrone for the past 19 years, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizer Jim Kilmartin said he typically starts taking registrations for the event in mid-May and never began the process this year.

“It’s a tough decision, but you’ve got to do it,” Kilmartin said. “We’ve lost months of preparation. We’ll postpone it to next year and make it a big deal next year.”

The tentative date for next year’s event, which features basketball hoops lined up and down the streets of downtown Tyrone, is July, 24.

The decision to cancel this year’s event wasn’t easy.

“I was thinking this year might be really big,” Kilmartin said. “It was the 20th year for one, but also everyone is so ready to get out and about. I thought that might turn out to be a good thing for us, but obviously it’s not going to work this year. But we’ll start planning for next year as soon as possible and get special speakers in and recruit some players.”

Hoopfest, the largest outdoor three-on-three basketball tournament in Pennsylvania, has involved as many as 256 teams in the past. The tournament, along with a planned Sportsfest in Altoona which would have also involved the Central Blair Recreation Commission on June 6 that was also canceled, would have helped raise money for Joshua House.

“It’s by far our biggest fundraiser, so it definitely takes a toll on us,” Kilmartin said. “During this process, we had to furlough our whole staff. We’re extremely bare bones right now trying to make it through. Fortunately, we had a little bit of reserve financially to make it through, but it’s tough. We also lost the ability to rent out the armory. It is what it is, but everyone is going through it.”

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