The 2015 Buckeye Elite National Showcase will be held in Portsmouth, Ohio December 10-12 at the Portsmouth High School Gymnasium. The three day basketball event returns for its second installment, the first time in the local area. Last year, the showcase was held in Huntington, West Virginia at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Organized by Portsmouth area natives, Miles Ferguson and Dustin Pendleton, the event will feature 12 basketball games, and a slam dunk contest.
“We established it last year, and it was really for the means for trying to draw some positive attention for our area,” Ferguson said.
The event was designed to get Scioto County area teams to be involved in some of the national basketball tournaments.
“We had thought about it for a long time, and were just eating a lunch together one day and just came up with the idea,” Ferguson said. “We thought it would be neat to try to do something like that at home. The purpose was to allow our local teams to play in a big tournament, and around players that will be future NBA (National Basketball Association) players one day.”
The number one player in the country, Ben Simmons was a part of the event last year. Simmons currently plays for the LSU Tigers, and is considered by many to be the prospective number one draft pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
This year, the event will feature a few of the top players in country.
“Those are guys that will eventually go on to be in the NBA,” Ferguson said. “It’s a neat thing for our kids, because it allows them to play around that talent, and for the community because it will draw a lot of attention.”
The showcase will definitely bring a lot of attention to the Portsmouth area. Maxpreps.com lists the Buckeye Elite National Showcase as one of the best national showcases for the year.
Additionally, the event has gotten the attention of several NCAA Division I basketball coaches.
“Just today, I spoke with Indiana University’s basketball coach,” Ferguson said. “He will be coming down tomorrow (Thursday).”
University of Oregon men’s basketball coach Dana Altman will be flying in to attend the event as well, according to Ferguson.
“We’re drawing national attention,” Ferguson said. “There’s coaches from all over the country calling about it, and it’s kind of putting Portsmouth on the map, so to speak, when it comes to high school basketball.”
Teams from all over the United States, and one from Canada will be in action throughout the three day event.
Friday night will feature a slam dunk contest after the conclusion of the 7 p.m. game.
The first game will tip at 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon at the Portsmouth High School Gymnasium. Four games are scheduled for Thursday, with two games going on Friday, as well as the dunk contest. Action will begin Saturday at 10 a.m., with six games scheduled for the final day of the event.
A total of 19 teams from six different states, including one team from Canada will take part in the event.
Admission is $5.00 for students, and $10.00 for adults, and is on a daily basis. When paid, the spectator will be allowed to watch the entire day’s events.
The Buckeye Elite National Showcase can be found on Facebook by searching under Buckeye Elite Event Management. The showcase can also be followed via Twitter @Milesleeelite.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931 or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.