The Ohio Valley Hoops Classic appears to be growing, director Bennie Carroll said, and he’d like to bring it back for a fifth time next year, but whether he has the energy to organize it himself again is a question he’s still pondering.
The fourth annual Ohio Valley Hoops Classic was held last Friday and Saturday at the Southern State Community College Patriot Center in Hillsboro. It featured 22 teams and 11 games pairing some local teams against each other along with some of the top teams and talent in a two-state area competing.
The Classic was held the first two years at Wilmington College and for the past two years has been held at Southern State.
“I want to try to do it again, yes,” Carroll said Tuesday. “But I’d like to get more people involved in the planning, organizing and financial part of it. My thing is the basketball. I like contacting the coaches, checking out the teams and things like that. But I need someone to help me with other parts of it like soliciting sponsors and things like that.”
Carroll said attendance was better this year than last year. He said about 1,500 tickets were sold for the two-day event and that about 2,500 people total attended the 11 games.
While attendance has not been what he would like it to be, Carroll said the teams involved seem to enjoy it. He sent out thank you emails to each team involved this year and Xenia coach Kent Anderson, whose team lost 87-47 to Princeton, sent him this response: “I can’t thank you enough for everything this past Friday. Everything, I mean everything, was first class. The competition, the hospitality, feeding our teams, the venue, all the people who ran the event, the T-shirts. Just fantastic. Thank you so much. Yes we want to come back, hopefully play better. I think the first game/bright lights showed our inexperience. Princeton was tough, and we learned this weekend….that’s what we were after. Once again, thank you so much.”
Carroll said that was, “kind of representative of how all the coaches and teams felt.”
Anderson said his kids enjoyed visiting the Hometown Showcase Hauler with the kids from Linden McKinley. Provided by R+L Carriers, the hauler provides a chance to learn about career and shipping opportunities along with a chance chance to win promotional items and keep up with College Game Day on 11 TV screens.
“That was kind of representative of how all the coaches and teams felt,” Carroll said of Anderson’s email. “The teams that come in there love it, they love that venue at Southern State, even the big time teams, and they felt they were treated great.”
A lot of that credit, Carroll said, goes to the event sponsors, especially Big Ernie’s Pizza, which provided 10 pizzas for each team.
“The fact that we’re able to get Moeller and teams like that in there says a lot about all of that. A lot of games didn’t end up as close as we would have liked, but there was some very good talent on display in Hillsboro over the weekend,” Carroll said.
Sometimes, Carroll said, he gets the feeling that people think he wants to make a lot of money on the event. But, he said, “I just want to not lose money and provide a class event.”
He said the OVHC broke even this year.
Carroll said that while he thinks the ticket price of $10 per session (or multiple games) is pretty decent, he’d like to lower the price some, especially for students. He also said that he has been working ahead in case he has the event next year and that some of the top talent and teams in Ohio have indicated they would like to be involved.
“We hope to do it next year, but I’d like to get more people involved in putting it together. It’s just a little bit much for me to do by myself,” Carroll said. “It’s a good event and I think it has the potential to grow and get better.”
Anyone that would like to help can contact Carroll at 937-728-9317.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]