Tickets are now on sale for the 40th annual Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s and PNC Bank. The game will be at Freedom Hall on Friday, April 19th. Tickets are $16 and $11.
Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry calls the game the “oldest and best-attended high school All-Star game in the country.” Considering that it’s been the sneak preview game for basketball stars like Darrell Griffith, Dominique Wilkins, Moses Malone and Pervis Ellison, that’s not necessarily hyperbole.
The success of this game has spawned other All-Star games for high school recruits. The most well known is the McDonald’s All-American game, but in recent years the Jordan Brand Classic and the new All-American Championship have gained popularity and makes it difficult to compete for the top recruits due to a rule that prohibits high school players from playing in more than 2 All-Star games.
Even with that, current college standouts Cody Zeller of Indiana University and Chane Behanan, Zach Price and Kevin Ware of the University of Louisville played well during the 2011 version of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic in front of appreciative fans.
This years roster hasn’t been set, but scuttlebutt has it that UK recruits Derek Willis from Bullitt East and Marcus Lee from California may come to the Ville for the Classic. Julius Randle from Texas may play as well because he’s already barred from the McDonald’s All-American game due to a rule that says that he didn’t play enough for his high school team this year while recovering from a broken foot.
Buying tickets to the Derby Festival Basketball Classic also gets you bonus admission to the Derby Festival’s Night of Future Stars at Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Indiana on Thursday, April 18th. Night of Future Stars is more along the lines of an exhibition with a slam dunk contest, 2 on 2 games and a three point shootout.
Logo: Kentucky Derby Festival