Hoop it Up tournament makes return to Triad

Hoop it Up tournament makes return to Triad
August 04
14:14 2021

The Hoop it Up (HIU) tournament was the premiere 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the 1990s. Now that Hoop it Up has been bought by NBA legend Kevin Garnett, they are attempting to bring the tournament back to its historic heights.

HIU will hold a tournament in Winston-Salem on Aug. 26 and 27 at Quality Education Academy. Anyone aged 10 and up can play in the tournament. There is a youth, adult recreation, and adult pro-am division for players to participate in. There is also a cash prize for first-, second- and third-place finishers in the pro-am division.

Garnett purchased the company back in 2019 and they immediately started putting together tournaments. Things were put on pause for most of last year due to the pandemic, but now that things are opening back up, they are pushing forward with their original plan.

“Now we are coming out of the gate and we are running hard and we did a big event in Atlanta about a month ago that was on the BNC Network (Black News Channel) and now we are rolling out to Winston-Salem,” said Dan Cramer, general manager of Big Ticket Sports. “We have an event going on in Winnipeg, Canada, so we are international as well and we’ve really started to roll it out.

“The winning team from the pro-am division can qualify to go to a Quest event, which is part of the FIBA Network, and from there you can go on to the Masters Tour, which has about $1.5 million in cash prizes to be won around the world.”

The 3-on-3 basketball format has really taken off around the world because you can really play with only four players on each team, said Cramer. “You don’t have to have to go eight deep like with 5-on-5. That’s one of the reasons why the American teams usually do so well, because we can go 10 deep and not all countries can do that.”

Corey Baker, a local youth basketball coach, reached out to Cramer about bringing the tournament to Winston-Salem. Baker saw that the tournament was making a comeback and wanted to bring the experience to the city.

“Coach Baker reached out and said ‘Hey, I’d like to bring Hoop it Up back’ once he saw that we were out and about and he reached out and said he’d like us to bring Hoop it Up back to Winston-Salem, because it’s a good basketball market with a lot of high level players.”

Baker played in HIU tournaments growing up, so once he heard they were putting on more tournaments around the country, he wanted to make sure Winston-Salem was included.

“I played in it growing up and me and my team had some tough battles and it was fun. It was the same guys we played against in high school, so I kind of just made every time we saw them competitive,” said Baker. “It was just fun seeing everyone in the city and people from all walks of life enjoying the same event.”

Cramer is a former professional basketball player who played overseas in Europe for a decade. He says that many kids that are introduced to the 3-on-3 basketball format prefer that to the traditional 5-on-5.

“I am a basketball guy and I believe in the fundamentals of 3-on-3 basketball and I think when kids get introduced to it, we’re finding that they like it as much or more than 5-on-5, because it is a fast game,” Cramer continued. “One of the things in the pro-am division is a 12-second shot clock. You got to move it and there is no checking of the ball; it’s continual play.”

Cramer and Baker plan to make this tournament an annual event in the city. Baker will be running point on putting together the tournament for next year. According to Cramer, they plan to finish off the calendar year with eight more tournaments around the country and plan to have 50 or more tournaments in 2022.

“In principle, we have 100 cities that have indicated that they would like to host a Hoop it Up event, so you never know in a year how this thing could blow up,” Cramer continued. 

For more information on the Hoop it Up tournament, visit their website at If you’re one of the first 40 teams to sign up and play, you can play for free. The free code for the pro-am teams is WIN100PRO.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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