As the tired but eternally flattering saying goes, Kentucky is known for horses, bourbon, and of course
corruption basketball. So it’s only fitting that the Marshall County Hoop Fest continues its evolution as one of the premiere high school basketball tournaments in the nation tomorrow, through the 13th.
Last year, the bustling town of Benton nearly came to a stand still when the tireless KSR crew flocked to MCHS, its fabled Reed Conder Gymnasium, to translate the action to the masses. We saw AJ Stewart dominate the dunk contest (unopposed), the Leek Leek led Rice High from the Bronx put a new spin on basketball (futility), and Hubby attempt to score an interview with Tubby (and nearly score with Bill Keightley’s wife). Now, ESPN wants a slice of the high school huckleberry pie, as they’ll be on hand to broadcast the Dec. 13th showdown between national powerhouses Oak Hill Academy and St. Benedict Prep(NJ).
This year’s Hoops Fest is once again encumbered with high profile high schools and a pelthora of coveted players. Like…
–Findlay Prep (NV) featuring UK signee DeAndre Liggins and ’09 prospect Clarence Trent.
–St. Benedict (NJ) led by bullish Louisville commit Samardo Samuels.
–Oak Hill (VA) with future Arizona phenom Brandon Jennings and ’09 UK prospect Keith Gallon.
–Pinckneyville (IL) none of their players can dunk, but their warm-up routine would make Rupp smile. Fundamentally lavish.
–Also making a cameo will be Chicago Whitney Young and guard Marcus Jordan, son of Mike, son of man, which begs the question…
Will MJ make the trek to Marshall County? According to WPSD Paducah, probably. Amazing. I would’ve though the only thing capable of putting Mike in Marshall Co. would be a flat tire on the way to the Casino, but alas, it appears Benton will have their first true celebrity sighting since the filming of US Marshals (unless you count Christmas at the Langhi house Celeb-worthy).
Warming up for downtown Benton…
So if you enjoy watching future NBA prospects, rubbing elbows with hall of fame coaches, and contributing to scaring the living piss out of the greatest basketball player of all time, then the Hoop Fest is a must. It’s, well, it’s a festival of hoops (kudos, MCHF marketing team). Michael Jordan.