Hoopfest Weekend has solidified itself as an annual calendar event for people all over the nation and the world. From our 3,000+ volunteers to the 460+ teams that join us each year, our 3on3 tournament has left its mark amongst the 250,000 people who attend! There is one athlete who managed to leave his mark on our community and event.
Andrew Vathis should be acknowledged as the “Official Hype Man of Hoopfest Weekend.” As one of our Special Olympic athletes, Andrew was always excited to talk about, prepare for and participate in Hoopfest.
It is with a heavy heart that we inform our Hoopfesters that we have lost an invaluable teammate. We were devastated to learn that Andrew was struck by a car on the night of January 26th while crossing the street.
Our organization is committed to honoring Andrew’s memory by preparing for the Best Basketball Weekend on Earth by letting his infectious Hoopfest energy guide our planning.
Thank you to everyone who tagged us or sent us memories of Andrew at Hoopfest. It is an honor to be associated with his precious memory!
“A few days after Hoopfest ended, Andrew was already calling around to his teammates and coach to let them know they had 3on3 practice the upcoming week,” laughs Kari Conner, owner of Ben & Jerry’s, the sponsor of Andrew’s team, ‘The Coneheads.’
You might recognize Andrew from his 26-year employment at the Albertson’s up on 57th Street here in Spokane or you might have seen and heard him cheering on the Spokane Indians and Spokane Chiefs sports teams. Not only was Andrew well-connected throughout Spokane, he was admired.
“Andrew was incredible – he would give hugs to his teammates and even his opponents after they made a shot. He was encouraging and always had a smile on his face,” remembers Kari.
This past Hoopfest, Andrew and The Coneheads won the Loser King Bracket. They all were ecstatic that they were able to win!
Our office staff has huddled up to try and determine the best way to honor Andrew and will keep you updated with our decision for Hoopfest 2019.
If you would like to attend the memorial for Andrew Vathis, the family welcomes you to join them on Saturday, February 2nd at Ferris High School’s Gymnasium beginning at 11:00AM. Please wear your favorite sports jersey as Andrew was a very big sports fan!
Note: If you send flowers, please send them to Spokane Crematorium & Funeral Service. They will bring them all to the memorial on Saturday morning.
421 West Riverside
Spokane, WA 99201
PHONE (509) 624-2414
FAX (509) 624-0868