The second Ohio Valley Hoops Classic tips off 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 with New Albany against Northmont at Wilmington College’s Fred Raizk Arena.
Will there be a third Ohio Valley Hoops Classic?
Event organizer Bennie Carroll hopes so.
“I always wanted to see if we could do something like this in Wilmington,” said Carroll. “We have done it, but to move forward we will have to see if it is something the community will support.”
Carroll’s desire to put on a “first-class event” is costly, approximately $37,000 for this year’s two-day, 10-game extravaganza.
Carroll said each participating team receives a travel stipend, is fed after the game and individual players receive athletic apparel.
“We pay a substantial rental fee to the college, pay the officials, provide a hospitality room and there are a ton of other miscellaneous costs involved,” said Carroll.
That the schools and players involved receive “first-class” treatment is only part of the equation. Basketball fans also are treated to top-notch basketball action, last year for three days and this year for two.
“I am excited about the teams and players we have coming in this year,” said Carroll. “The fans will get to see some of Ohio and Indiana’s best players and teams. Our local teams will have the opportunity to share the court with some elite teams.”
Aside from Wilmington, Blanchester, Clinton-Massie and East Clinton — and the aforementioned New Albany and Northmont teams — squads involved in this year’s event are Chaminade-Julienne, Johnstown Monroe, Dayton Northridge, South Ripley (Ind.), Dublin Jerome, Mason, Cleveland Heights, Leesburg Fairfield, Eastern Brown, Indianapolis Park Tudor, Mansfield Senior, Cleveland East Tech, Lakota East and Paint Valley.
Carroll currently runs the event through his “Impulse Basketball Consulting” business. Carroll would like to see the county schools get involved more, with the prospects of making money for their own athletic department.
Each year, Carroll would seek a “sponsoring” county school to be given proceeds from the event. The Ohio High School Athletic Association requires events like the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic to have a sponsor school. Last year, Carroll said sponsor school Blanchester received $3,700.
“The vision would be for the four county schools to take turns being in charge of the financial aspects of the event and I would take care of recruiting teams and coordinating the event,” Carroll said.
Though a basketball junkie through and through, Carroll realizes the schools involvement is not without risk.
“Even though the event presents an avenue for the county schools to provide financial help to their athletic departments, I understand they are a little leery of taking on the financial responsibility because there is no guarantee the event will break even,” he said.
In a perfect world, Carroll said a corporate sponsor would put their name on the event and underwrite all of the basic costs.
“The host high school, which would be set up on a rotating basis, could sell ads to other businesses for the program to benefit their school athletic department,” said Carroll. “The gate receipts would then be split among all four county schools.
“If we had a corporate sponsor that deemed the event worthy of putting their name on it, then the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic would have tremendous financial potential for all four county schools, Wilmington College and local businesses,” he said. “And I wouldn’t be figuring out how to explain to my wife that I am paying to do all this work.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.