Besides presenting great basketball, Eric Horstman, the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop founder, is most fond of what Flyin’ can do for promising players. Even those who have flourished under the recruiting radar.
“There are players who may not have had looks or scholarship offers, but those players often get interest for the next level after this,” said Horstman, who introduced the upcoming lineup on Tuesday at Miami Valley Hospital North in Englewood amid sponsors, coaches and players. “Let the chaos begin.”
As usual, the 17th annual mid-season high school basketball event will be held over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend at Fairmont’s Trent Arena in Kettering from Jan. 18-21. Thirty-seven teams representing seven states and Canada will play 20 games over the four-day event.
Host Fairmont is paired against Crestwood Prep (Canada) in Friday’s doubleheader opener. Crestwood features a consensus five-star eighth-grader.
Trotwood-Madison, a Division II state final four rep the last two seasons and the defending state runner-up, is matched against Columbus power Pickerington Central in the finale on Monday night.
As always, Flyin’ will be a mixture of local teams, Ohio state powers and high-end national prep school programs.
Among the prep teams is Huntington Prep (W.Va.), which has often frequented Flyin’ in recent seasons. Former Sidney standout Andre Gordon transferred to Huntington after his junior year. Also a football standout as a quarterback, he verbally committed to Virginia Tech this week to play basketball.
Huntington will play two games, including the Friday night finale against IMG Academy (Fla.). Six Greater Western Ohio Conference teams are committed: Fairmont, Xenia, Trotwood, Centerville, Springfield and Wayne. Madison is the lone Southwestern Buckeye League team. The Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North will be represented by Chaminade Julienne and Carroll’s girls.
The Saturday opening girls game will feature defending D-IV state champion Minster of the Midwest Athletic Conference against GCL North rep Carroll. It’ll be the third year for a girls game and has proven to be a spectators’ hit.
»RELATED: D-I boys district golf goes OT
Horstman, a Troy native, said 100 teams inquired about playing in Flyin’. There will be at least 12 five-star players at the event. It’s those uncommitted standouts – or underclassmen – who college coaches flock to see during the holiday break.
There have been 58 Flyin’ alumni currently in the NBA or having played in the NBA. Horstman said the event annual means about $2 million in revenue for the area economy.
“It’s just a different event,” Trotwood coach Rocky Rockhold said. “This is the best. Our guys have a different tone going into those matchups. It’s been a springboard for us. It’s a great opportunity for giving exposure to our young men to college coaches and it’s right in our backyard.”
Single-day and four-day Flyin’ tickets are available at flyintothehoop.com.
»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton