King James Tournament drawing young athletes to Akron
GREATER AKRON — More than 600 teams of amateur basketball players from around the country will gather in Northeast Ohio for the fifth annual King James Shooting Stars Classic basketball tournament.
The tournament, set for April 23-25, will feature teams from more than 60 schools. In all, more than 1,800 tournament games will be played on more than 100 area basketball courts this year, according to event officials. The tournament is organized by the Northeast Ohio Basketball Association, which was founded by Dru Joyce II. Joyce, head varsity basketball coach at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and former coach of Cleveland Cavaliers player LeBron James, said the tournament was created to provide a way for amateur players to receive exposure to college coaches and scouting agencies.
The tournament will consist of traveling amateur girls and boys basketball teams categorized into brackets according to their ages. These brackets include ages 9 and younger to ages 17 and younger.
According to city officials, Akron has backed the tournament from its inception and this year will provide 29 sites in Akron on 34 gymnasium floors for the tournament.
According to Susan Hamo, president of the Akron-Summit Visitors and Convention Bureau, the tournament is an economic booster.
“It brings in roughly $2.5 million to Greater Akron each year and raises Akron’s profile for its dedication to amateur and youth athletics,” she said.
The tournament is family friendly, and all games are open to the public, according to organizers. Weekend passes will be available at each game site for $20. Otherwise, tickets cost $10 for the Friday night and Sunday sessions and $20 for the Saturday session. Children ages 5 and younger will be admitted for free.
For more information, visit www.neobasketball.com or call (330) 668-6547.
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