The South Central Ohio 50 Plus organization hosted its second annual high school showcase Wednesday at Portsmouth high school gymnasium. Prior to the event, founder of SCOH 50 Plus, Ted Pennington, said that seventy-five girls registered to sign up for Wednesday’s showcase, but due to prior obligations and absences, there were about seventy girls that were able to attend. In comparison to last year’s showcase, sixty members attended the first annual event in Waverly last year, meaning a ten player increase from last year.
These high school players traveled from all over the southern Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia areas. Many area schools were represented at this year’s showcase, including players from Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, Oak Hill, Minford, Ashland, West Portsmouth, and many more of the surrounding school districts.
Events like this one organized by Pennington and his two partners with the SCOH 50 Plus, Trey Sams and Brian Deer, help promote young high school players and give them a platform in which they can play in front of college coaches who are always looking to add their next piece. As the numbers continue to grow for the SCOH 50 Plus organization, the more exposure they are able to provide for the kids to allow for colleges to see their game. “Our event allows them to play openly” said Pennington, “A lot of coaches now want a fast, upbeat style of offense. And they also want to see if you can guard other people.”
In attendance at today’s showcase were representatives from several area NAIA, division two , and division three schools such as: Shawnee State, Kentucky Christian, Rio Grande, Bluffton, Wilmington, Salem University, Bluefield St., among others. The college coaches who attended the showcase in hopes to find their next player were given information by Pennington and his co-organizers about each player including: players’ names, height, graduation date, high school they attend. If the player is going to be a junior when the school year begins later this month, then coaches were given personal contact information for players they were interested in because as of September 1st, college coaches are officially able to contact these high school prospects.
Shawnee State girls head basketball coach, Jeff Nickel, was very high on the event and its ability to showcase area girls skills and abilities as they vie for a chance to play at the next level. “Ted’s (Pennington) done a really nice job of getting a lot of talent from our area” said Nickel, “It’s just been a really good event that showcases their talent and gets coaches in the gym.”
To begin the showcase, all players were put through individual drills for two hours to help warm them up, but also to show the college coaches what kind of players the participants were. After the two hour warm ups, players then proceeded to begin playing organized games with their teams that were pre-established.
All players on all teams were given equal playing time each game during the games, as both games were being played on two sideways courts in the gym. All players, coaches, and college coaches were treated to lunch, before returning to the organized games only an hour later.
Each participant received a free t-shirt and will later receive an individualized breakdown of their own game from the three organizers of the showcase. “This has been a big success,” said Pennington, “All the kids that were here last year, said that the event this year was better than last year.”
Pennington said his plans were to have more events and showcases coming up in the next year, including a future showcase on October 7th similar to this one, but allowing younger kids at the junior high level to get more experience playing the game in that style of play.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT