Fly High Cylee: tragic loss brings best friends together for Hoopfest

Fly High Cylee: tragic loss brings best friends together for Hoopfest

Thousands of teams bring thousands of stories to Hoopfest every year. For one team in particular, each shot, each pass and each point was in honor of a life taken too soon.

For Michael Baesman and those closest to him, Hoopfest means therapy. After the loss of his 8-week-old daughter Cylee, Baesman and his best friends teamed up to dedicate this tournament to her.

Isaiah Flick was supposed to become Cylee’s godfather. Flick was previously training with the National Guard in Yakima, but came back to Spokane this weekend to play with Baesman on team Fly High Cylee.

“It’s all for Michael,” Flick said. “I wanted to come down here and help support Michael and pretty much help a good friend after a hard loss.”

Baesman said losing Cylee meant losing a life full of promise.

“She was very loving,” Baesman said. “Everywhere she went, everybody knew who she was. She touched a lot of people’s lives in such a short time.”

Baesman said this weekend was therapeutic.

“It’s sad, it’s emotional but it’s good to get my agression and stuff out here,” he said.

He said Cylee’s loss serves as a painful reminder that tomorrow is never promised. Baesman said he could feel his daughter with him on each and every play.

“I’m not really good at basketball but I have been this weekend,” Baesman said. “So I’m pretty sure Cylee’s here watching me.”