Top prep prospects put on talent showcase in NMB

Cheick-DialloSome of the top prep basketball teams and players in the nation will be in North Myrtle Beach this weekend for the USA National Prep Basketball Championships.

This three-day hoops event will feature 44 teams from around the country and Canada. It includes hundreds of players putting their skills on display for college coaches, and scouts, who come to recruit the next NCAA stars. Among them is 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American Cheick Diallo, who is ranked as high as the No. 3 prospect in the nation and has offers from many of the top Division I colleges.

“This event is open to all private and parochial schools,” said event director Don Fozard. “A lot of these teams don’t have a national tournament, or even a conference tournament. So, this is an avenue for them to get some exposure and a nice way to end their season in a championship tournament.”

Now in its 6th year, the event originally began in Myrtle Beach, but moved after the first year to the North Myrtle Beach area.  “The city of North Myrtle Beach has been phenomenal. We’re going to be here as long as they want us,” said Fozard.

“An event like this gives us exposure,” said city of North Myrtle Beach’s superintendent of sports tourism Matt Gibbons. “A lot of the athletes have never been to North Myrtle Beach, so it gives them a chance to come and see our area. Plus, it gives us exposure to different colleges, scouts, and recruiters. And, it lets people know that we have these quality tournaments here. Of course, it also brings people to town. With 44 teams staying two to three nights a piece. It adds up to a pretty nice economic impact for us here in a relatively slow month.”

Tournament action continues all day Friday and Saturday at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center on Possum Trot Road in North Myrtle Beach. Saturday’s games begin at 9am and will feature a day full of consolation and championship games. Tickets for the include a one day pas for $12. For more information go to usanationalprep.com

Photo courtesy of USA National Prep

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