CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–The Van Buren County boys and girls basketball squads won’t be relaxing during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
In fact, they’ll be heading to the Scenic City for the Waffle House MLK King of the Court event presented by the Chattanooga Area Basketball Club. The holiday showcase is set to feature 10 teams at McClellan Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The Eagles take on Triple-A squad East Hamilton at 5:30 ET/4:30 CT while the girls team will battle with Girls’ Preparatory School in the 4:00 ET/3:00 CT time slot.
“We created this event to help grow the excitement and exposure of basketball in the greater Chattanooga area while celebrating a great American hero,” Daniel Gilbert of the CABC said. “This will be an exciting day of basketball featuring some top tier programs and high level players. This year’s field features 2 teams that advanced to the state semi-finals last year in Tennessee, as well as 4 district/region champion teams from last season. This event also features over a dozen players with college basketball offers or interest.”
Caden Mills was listed as one of the top prospects in the event, but he’ll face off with an East Hamilton squad that bares three elite area players in junior point guard Justin Dozier, post Da’Vae Hughley, and Noah Fager who has interest from Milligan and Covenant Colleges. The Eaglettes will face off with GPS and guard Brooke McCurdy who has a killer shot inside and out.
“We are excited to be a part of the 1st MLK King of the Court Event in Chattanooga,” East Hamilton boys’ head coach Rodney English said. “We also love the opportunity to play a good opponent in Van Buren County who was a Class A state semi-finalist last year.”
Both teams are excited for the opportunity, but the expanding the Eagles’ brand beyond the Valley was a big selling point to Van Buren County head coach Dustin Sullivan.
“We are very excited about being a part of this inaugural MLK King of the Court Event,” Sullivan said. “These events help bring exposure to basketball in our region. Our school jumped at the chance to play in this event.”
The Eagles are also ready for the challenge a AAA school can bring to a program of their caliber.
“East Hamilton is very good,” Sullivan said. “This will be a great chance for us to work against a team that really pressures defensively and tries to push in transition. It will be a battle of contrasting styles and a great challenge for us. It’s the kind of game and atmosphere that we hope helps us when the postseason rolls around”
The King of the Court Showcase is set to start at 12:30 PM ET/11:30 AM CT on Monday January 16 at McClellan Gymnasium. Other programs slated to compete in the event include Chattanooga Christian (Both Boys’ and Girls’), East Hamilton (Both Boys’ and Girls’) Boyd-Buchanan (Boys’), Calhoun, Ga. (Boys’), and McCallie.