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Basketball Before Books


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    Spokane, Wash. - On Monday, April 9th, Eastern Washington University's 14th Annual Get Lit! Festival will kick off, or tip off, with a basketball game featuring authors Sherman Alexie, Shann Ray and Jess Walter, among others. They will join local hoops stars and Native legends to play a full court, regulation basketball game for charity. HooPalousa will be held at 7 p.m., at Whitworth University and will be free and open to the public.

    This will be the second HooPalousa, which originated in November 2011 when Kim Barnes, a creative writing professor at the University of Idaho, challenged visiting writers to a game of three-on-three hoops with her graduate students. Word of the game quickly spread, and eventually captured national attention. Roughly 600 spectators attended the game, and more than $3,000 was raised for the American Indian Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing at the University of Idaho.

    At the first HooPalousa, the two teams who faced off were the Dirty Realists, coached by EWU Professor Sam Ligon, and Moscow-based the SuperSonnets, led by Nez Perce tribe chairman Brooklyn Baptiste.

    Sherman Alexie said of his team's offense strategy for the game, "I think our offense is going to be Pendo (Gonzaga basketball alumni David Pendergraft) gets the board, throws a full-court pass to Shann (Ray), who scores, and the rest of us preserve our ACLs."

    HooPalousa donations will go toward the American Indian Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing at the University of Idaho. There will be books available for sale at the event, and attendees will have a chance to get their books signed by the participating authors after the game.

    More information on the 2012 Get Lit! Festival can be found at The direct link for information on this event is:

    For more information or inquiries please contact Get Lit! Festival director Melissa Huggins at or 509.359.6977.


    Contact Information

    Dave Meany - EWU Media Relations
    300 Showalter Hall
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.6335
    fax: 509.359.4701

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