By Nataly Tavidian, Grand Island/Hastings Reporter - email
The 2013 Whoopers and Hoopers basketball tournament came to Hastings this weekend, bringing in traffic to the city that many say is good for the economy.
Winning the tournament comes with a prize. There are awards for first place, second place, and MVP award and consolation awards. Some of the awards even come with a cash prize.
Derick Brooks plays for a Kearney team and says he's been participating in the tournament for two years. He said he plays to have fun, to stay fit and to keep in touch with an old friend.
Brooks said, "Most of us met in college, and we traveled with some friends who wanted to play."
The tournament has been a tradition for more than 30 years and continues to grow. Volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce said around 130 teams took part in the 2013 tournament, brining in their family and friends and contributing to the economy.
Quality Inn General Manager Nishan Paten said, "I'm pretty sure all the hotels are sold out. We get a lot of calls. When they're checking out tomorrow they're going to ask us 'Can we reserve for next year.'"
Most hotels in Hastings were sold out for the weekend.