“HoopsFest” gears up for heatwave

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Saturday Tyrone streets will be filled with hundreds of basketball players playing for HoopsFest 2019. Athletes and event coordinators say they’ll be ready for intense heat.

Siblings A.J. and Blaise Kilmartin have played in the Tyrone 3 on 3 basketball tournament, “HoopsFest” for eight years.

“Great competition, people coming from ten different states I believe, and it’s always fun to play outdoors,” A.J. Kilmartin, basketball player at “HoopsFest”, said.

“I’ve been playing with people I know and then other people I don’t know some years and it’s really fun getting that mix,” Blaise Kilmartin, basketball player at “HoopsFest”, said.

With extreme heat expected on Saturday, they say they’ll be pacing themselves and staying hydrated.

“I’m just going to bring a cooler with a bunch of water in it to stay hydrated,” A.J. said.

To keep the expected crowd of 4,000, including 800 players cool, “HoopsFest” has been working with the Borough of Tyrone and local business to get access to more water sources than past years.
This will help them set up more water stations.

“We have twelve different division tents that will have watering stations at them and volunteers constantly restocking them throughout the day, we also are going to be educating all of our division heads, and score keepers, with signs and warning symptoms to look for heat exhaustion and heat stress,” Brittany Solomon, event manager at “HoopsFest”, said.

They also made a change this year to lower time in the heat.

“We are trying to shorten game play as much as possible, we are also lowering the point total, for the games as well to try to accommodate and make the games go faster,” Solomon, said.

They’ll add more breaks between games this year, and as always the local ambulance team is on call if needed.

A.J. says some people try to push through the day without drinking regularly, which could get dangerous.

“Every ten, every fifteen minutes you need to stop and get a drink of Gatorade or water,” A.J., said.

“HoopsFest” will be on Logan Avenue and surrounding streets Saturday from 7am to 2pm.

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