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The Dream Team

Meet the Spokane squad who will defend their home turf

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As the entries for the Hoopfest elite men's field rolled in, they featured some excellent teams, which is what you want at a high-profile event with ESPN looking over your shoulder. Those teams, though, all hailed from places like Chicago or Los Angeles or the other side of the Cascades.

It's an impressive field, sure, but when Hoopfest executive director Matt Santangelo noticed that there wasn't a serious contender, per tradition, from the Spokane area, he knew he had to do something.

So he laced up and fielded his own team for what will, surprisingly, be his first time actually playing in Hoopfest.

While overseeing the biggest three-on-three tournament in the world, the face of that tournament will remind all of us that he's also a Gonzaga legend. He's probably also one of the only people capable of assembling this all-star Spokane squad.

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MATT SANTANGELO

Point guard

Height: 6'1"

Age: 37

College: Gonzaga

Pro career: Played six seasons in Europe.

You probably remember him from: Either as the current executive director of Hoopfest, as the color commentator on Gonzaga basketball radio broadcasts, or, more likely, as the point guard who helped launch the Zags' rise to national prominence with the electrifying 1999 Elite Eight run.


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CASEY CALVARY

Forward/Center

Height: 6'8"

Age: 36

College: Gonzaga

Pro career: Played in Japan, Europe, Australia and the Continental Basketball Association.

You probably remember him from: His days as a dominating big man for the Zags. He was on the 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 teams, all of which reached the Sweet Sixteen or better. Also, he once dunked with such vigor in a game against New Mexico at the Spokane Arena that he broke the damn backboard.


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BLAKE STEPP

Shooting guard

Height: 6'4"

Age: 33

College: Gonzaga

Pro career: He was the 59th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft by the Timberwolves, but didn't make the regular season roster. Played two seasons in Europe.

You probably remember him from: His back-to-back WCC Player of the Year seasons in 2002-03 and 2003-04, capping a career that landed him in the top 10 of all-time Zags leading scorers.


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ROBERT LIPPMAN

Forward/Center

Height: 6'8"

Age: 29

College: Northwest Nazarene

Pro career: Played semi-pro ball in Australia.

You probably remember him from: His time at Northwest Christian High School. He's the only non-Zag on the squad, but don't hold that against him.