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Next Generation of Medical Experts Offer Tips for Hoopfest Training

By Spencer Raub and Evan Scholten, 2nd year students at UW School of Medicine

The excruciating long wait for Hoopfest is finally ending. After a two-year hiatus, Hoopfest is back and promises to be better than ever. It is a special time of year and one to celebrate after the stress and sorrow that this pandemic has brought over the last year and a half. And what better way to bring the community together than throwing an orange ball into a cylinder suspended ten feet in the air?

Now the last thing anybody wants to see during any sporting event are injuries. Many of the injuries we see at Hoopfest each year occur from overuse. Trying to move our bodies in ways that it hasn’t done so in a while is not a recipe for championship success.  Since we are a month away, if you haven’t already, it’s time to lace up those hoop shoes and hit the blacktop. No need to start running lines like back in the glory days, but it’s essential to get your body accustomed to moving so that when that competitive fire kicks in and you hustle after that loose ball, you don’t pull your hamstring in the process. Another key aspect is hydration and electrolytes. As we have had a hot summer already, this will not only help you avoid heat stroke but also keep your basketball skills sharp. Studies have shown that even a slight decrease in hydration and electrolytes can cause a significant drop in 3-point shooting percentage and we want you all raining threes to keep moving up in your brackets. The CDC recommends drinking about 8oz of water every 15-20 minutes but no more than 48oz in an hour. Sports drinks and electrolyte drinks like Pedialyte can be used but aren’t a necessity during games, since games last 25 minutes, but could be beneficial between games.

            And finally, everyone’s favorite topic to talk about, sportsmanship. I know we are fired up about getting back on the court and are itching to play. It’s been so long! I know I have been, especially since watching the Zags deep run through March Madness. But we can’t let that passion get the best of us on the blacktop. Respect your teammates, the opposing team, and the foul calls, especially when you don’t agree. It’s wonderful to play hard but letting your emotions get the best of you can ruin the game for everyone. It is, after all, just a game. A beautiful game at that, because it allows for an incredibly unique opportunity to bring our community together through healthy and respectful competition. Best of luck to you all and your teams and I’m hoping to hear about some game winning shots that give Jalen Suggs’ iconic shot a run for his money!

Spencer Raub and Evan Scholten, second-year students at UW School of Medicine in Spokane.  Evan is a graduate of Western Washington University, where he played on the Men’s Basketball team.  Each author will play in Hoopfest this year, on separate teams with teammates from UW School of Medicine.  The UWSOM partners with Gonzaga University to advance the health of the region through a Health Partnership https://www.gonzaga.edu/academics/regional-health-partnership