The Ohio Valley Hoops Classic is rreturning to Southern State Community College and fans attending this year will get a double treat.
Another highly regarded group of teams will be stepping on the SSCC Patriot Center floor when the OVHC tips off on Dec. 1 and 2. Included are four Final Four teams from state tournaments last year; Cincinnati Moeller, Cooper (Ky.), Columbus Eastmoor Academy and Procterville Fairland, plus a host of other respected teams.
There will be a strong local flavor, too. Hillsboro will take on arch rival McClain, Fairfield tangles with East Clinton, Lynchburg-Clay battles Ripley and Wilmington will play Campbell County, Ky.
Numerous players hold Division I scholarship offers. Leading the list is Syracuse commit Darius Bazley. The 6-8 senior from Princeton High School is currently the No. 9 rated player in the nation, according to ESPN. Jaxson Hayes, a 6-9 senior from Cincinnati Moeller, holds offers from Kentucky, Ohio State, Xavier, and a host of others.
This year’s event also features a halftime shootout in which one lucky fan each game will have a chance to win major prizes. The contestant can win $10,000, a new Ford Escape sponsored by Bill Marine Ford of Wilmington, a new jeep sponsored by Doug Marine Motors of Washington Court House, a new camper sponsored by Sherwood Auto and Camper Sales, or a John Deere Zero Turn 60-inch cut mower sponsored by Five Points Implement.
“It is because of the advertising sponsors that we can present an event like this,” said event organizer Bennie Carroll. “When we started this thing four years ago, the number one priority was to make it special for the players, coaches and fans. We can only do that with the help of some great sponsors.”
R+L Carriers, one of the presenting sponsors of the event, welcomes fans and participants to tour its Hometown Showcase Hauler, which will be parked outside the Patriot Center for the two-day event. In addition to learning about career and shipping opportunities, visitors will have a chance to win promotional items as well as keep up with College Game Day on one of 11 TV screens. The Hometown Showcase travels to high schools and colleges across the country delivering career and scholarship opportunities to students.
The other presenting sponsor is Big Ernie’s Pizza, which is providing pizza for all the participating players and coaches, while the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church is providing desserts for the teams. Southern State Community College is sponsoring shirts for all participating players, while KFC, 24-Exchange and Save-A-Lot are providing food and drink for the officials, media and other workers. G & J Pepsi is the official drink provider for the event. Highland District Hospital will have athletic trainers on-site to take care of any medical needs.
And, each paying fan, or family will receive a free program ad at this year’s event. If other local businesses are interested in becoming an advertising sponsor, visit the website at: www.ohiovalleyhoopsclassic.com.
Fans can also support their local teams by purchasing tickets at their respective schools.
“Each participating school will be selling tickets at their school and the schools keep half those proceeds,” Carroll said.
The tickets will go on sale a couple weeks before the event.
Presenting Sponsors: R+L Carriers, Big Ernie’s Pizza; Slam Dunk Sponsors: Southern State Community College; 3-Point Sponsors: G & J Pepsi, Highland District Hospital, Great Oaks Career Technical Center, Wright State University, Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church, Sherwood Auto and Campers; 2-pt Sponsors: Bill Marine Ford, Doug Marine Motors, Chad Abbott Signs, KFC, CMH Regional Health Systems, JK Precast, Campus Nation; Free-Throw Sponsors; Snow Hill Country Club, The Times Gazette, Lowes, Highland County Press, Hobart, 24 Deli and Exchange, Five Points Implement, Inc., ATSG; Layup Sponsors: Kibler Lumber, NCB, Harsha Monuments, Stephanie’s Pet Spa and Pet Center, Save a Lot, and Union Stock Yards.
Information for this story was provided by Bennie Carroll.