If you are interested in seeing some future Division I college, or perhaps NBA, basketball players up close and personal, you will have that opportunity on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 when the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic comes to Hillsboro High School. At least the past history of the event would indicate such is the case.
The Ohio Valley Hoops Classic’s inaugural event was in 2014 at Wilmington College. During the past four years no fewer than 42 players from the OVHC are now on Division I rosters. And one, Jaren Jackson Jr., is in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies after being the No. 4 overall pick in this past year’s draft out of Michigan State.
Ohio Valley Hoops Classic alumni dot rosters at Power Five schools including North Carolina, Indiana, North Carolina State, Texas, Notre Dame and Kentucky. A.J. Harris of Dayton Dunbar played a year at Ohio State before transferring to New Mexico State, while Ibi Watson of Pickerington Central played at Michigan before transferring to Dayton.
Wilmington’s Jarron Cumberland, a Hillsboro native, holds the top two scoring games in Ohio Valley Hoops Classic history. He is the top returning player for the Cincinnati Bearcats.
Ironically, the most highly rated player at the time he participated in the OVHC is neither in college or the NBA. Princeton’s Darius Bazley, ranked No. 9 in the country by ESPN, decommitted from Syracuse to play in the NBA G-League, then announced he will not play anywhere this season.
The 2014 matchup between Dayton Dunbar and Pickerington Central featured eight players that went on to play Division I college basketball. The 2014 and 2015 events, held at Wilmington College, have produced a total of 31 Division I players. Thus far, the 2016 and 2017 events held at Southern State Community College have produced 18 Division I players. That total will grow as several of those participants are still in high school, but will eventually play in college.
For a full list of all the former Ohio Valley Hoops Classic participants who are now playing Division I college basketball, check out the website at www.ohiovalleyhoopsclassic.com and look under the “History” tab. Full information on this year’s event is also included.
Bennie Carroll is the manager of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.