The ninth annual King James Shooting Stars Classic is set for this weekend in Akron, and 13 other surrounding communities.
The event allows AAU basketball teams from around the United States and Canada to showcase their skills and be refereed by high school, college and aspiring NBA officials.
Event director Dru Joyce II, who is the St. Vincent-St. Mary boys basketball coach, said 533 teams made up of players from second grade to 11th grade are registered to play. A total of 45 venues will be utilized between Friday through Sunday.
“This is an NCAA certified event and college coaches are allowed to come and evaluate players in grades 9, 10, 11,” Joyce said. “We have at least 20 states represented with teams from as far as west California, as far as north as Toronto, and as far south as Miami.”
Archbishop Hoban sophomore Anthony Christian and St. V-M sophomore Henry Baddley, Firestone sophomore Raybon Lewis and East junior Derik Lewis are part of a large contingent of area players scheduled to compete.
In past years, the event has included players such as Derrick Rose, John Wall, O.J. Mayo, Julius Randle and Zeke Marshall from outside of Ohio and in-state talents such as Jared Sullinger, Kosta Koufos, C.J. McCollum, Darius Carter, Evan Payne and JaKarr Sampson.
Tickets are $10 on Friday, $25 for all three days and $15 for Sunday at venues. All children 8 and younger are free. Joyce said more information, such as schedules, can be found at http://www.neobasketball.com or http://www.tourneytext.com.