High School Basketball Showcase set to tip in Kansas City
The historic Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City will be site for the inaugural Best of the Midwest Basketball Showcase. Sixteen teams from across the Midwest will compete in the one-day high school basketball showcase in front of thousands of basketball fans. The event features top teams from Kansas City, against schools from Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.
The event looks to bring in top teams from the area, but also high-level recruits from the area with scholarship offers or committed to area colleges, such as Kansas, Mizzou, K-State or Wichita State.
For 2016 and beyond, the Best of the Midwest already has schools from Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska – as well as nationally known academy schools.
The Best of the Midwest will be on January 31st, 2015 – adjacent from the Kansas City Royals FanFest at Bartle Hall. It would be a great day to relive “Blue October” and watch some great basketball.
The 2015 Best of the Midwest Showcase will be featured by 810Varsity and powered by RecruitLook’s Showcase Series. Media outlets to run promoting spots will be Sports Radio WHB 810, The Kansas City Star, Channel Fox 4 News, national recruiting blogs and local newspapers.
For all event details, including how to purchase tickets – visit here
The lineup for the event is as followed: *rankings/results as of 1/14/15
Game 1 @ 10:00am – boys game
Olathe North : Currently #5 ranked team in Kansas. Tied for the conference lead in the Kansas Sunflower League.
Lee’s Summit North : The Broncos are led by 6-6 Nolan Lamb. Lamb was named by MoRivals as one of the top 2015 seniors.
Game 2 @ 11:30am – girls game
St. James Academy : The Thunder advanced to the Kansas Class 5A state tourney in 2014 and should have another solid team eyeing a trip to Topeka in March.
Smithville : The Warriors have won 23 or more games in each of the past four years, including two trips to the Missouri Class 4 final, and another to the semis. Another strong season is underway as the Warriors are currently #9 in the state of Missouri for Class 4 with a 10-3 record.
Game 3 @ 1pm – boys game
Liberty : An always competitive team that is now 5-4 on the year. Top 2015 QB recruit, AJ Cambric, is one to watch for the Blue Jays.
Gardner-Edgerton : A battle tested team out of the competitive Eastern Kansas League. Recently knocked off the #1 ranked Kansas 5A team.
Game 4 @ 2:30pm – boys game
Blue Valley Northwest : The Huskies stand as the current Kansas power, as the two-time defending Kansas Class 6A champs and three straight 6A title game appearances. BV Northwest will feature a young but talented.
Christian Brothers College (St. Louis) : The Cadets won the Missouri Class 5 title in 2014, and return a young but talented cast too. Junior guards Jordan Barnes and Christian Willis each have multiple DI offers. CBC is currently #10 in the state.
Game 5 @ 4pm – boys game
Lansing : The Lions have been the Class 5A power in recent years, advancing to consecutive state finals, including the 2014 title. Lansing has advanced to the state tourney four straight years, and five of the last six.
Free State : Perennial Kansas 6A contender. The Firebirds have advanced or won its sub-state the past two years, and should have another solid squad in 2014-15.
Game 6 @ 5:30pm – boys game
Columbia Hickman : The Kewpies look to return to state title game (lost in 2014 to CBC) are off to a 10-3 start and ranked #20 in the state. Led by division one commit (Arkansas) and Missouri favorite for POY, Jimmy Whitt
Sioux City North (Iowa) : Led by division one prospect and Iowa favorite for POY, Daniel Tillo. Sioux City North made state semi-finals in 2014.
Game 7 @ 7pm – boys game
Lee’s Summit : Led by Mizzou football recruit, Drew Lock. The Tigers are a dangerous team with Drew Lock and Blake Spellman.
Kickapoo (Springfield) : Current #6 ranked team in the state of Missouri with 11-1 record. A team full of college players, led by Tyson Batiste (#8 ranked player from Missouri on Rivals). A good writeup on the Kickapoo squad.
Game 8 @ 8:30pm – boys game
Blue Springs South : Led by Mizzou basketball commit, Kevin Puryear, along with guard KJ Robinson. The Jaguars are currently ranked #2 in Missouri with a 10-0 record.
Webster Groves (St. Louis) : A roster with multiple Division 1 players, including #3 overall 2018 Point Guard Courtney Ramey. Webster Groves is ranked #2 in the state of Missouri.
Some of the top players at the Best of the Midwest
Blue Springs South, Senior, 6-foot-7; Forward; Mizzou commit
Puryear entered the 2014-15 season as the headliner in Kansas City, especially after committing to Mizzou in the fall. The returning DiRenna Award finalist hasn’t let down, in helping the Jaguars to a 10-0 mark. The lefty has a nice inside game and can extend the defense with his 12-15 foot jumper.
Lee’s Summit, Senior, 6-foot-5; Guard; Mizzou commit (football)
While Lock committed to play football at Mizzou last spring, the guard also was highly sought after by Mizzou, Louisville, Wichita State, Oklahoma and others for basketball as well. Lock took a hiatus from hoops over the holidays to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but is back on the hardwood for a Tigers run. There is still a chance Mizzou football coach, Gary Pinkel, gives Lock the green light to play hoops in college.
Hickman, Senior, Point Guard; Arkansas commit
Another Run GMC teammate of Lock and Puryear, Whitt tantalized Mizzou fans before eventually committing to SEC rival Arkansas. Whitt led Hickman to the Class 5 final in 2014 before losing in overtime to CBC. Whitt is ranked by ESPN as the #1 player in the state of Missouri. Whitt is averaging nearly 32 points per game in 2014-15.
Webster Groves, Senior, 6-foot-8; Forward; University of San Diego commit
Floresca brings muscle and strength inside for the Statesmen, averaging 12.1 and 7.5 boards as a junior.
“Alex is probably as physically tough as any high school player I’ve ever recruited,” said University of San Diego coach Bill Grier. “He enjoys contact and plays the game extremely hard, particularly the way he posts up, rebounds and defends.
Webster Groves, Freshman, Point Guard; Interest: Mizzou, Arkansas, Marquette, Saint Louis, Others
Nationally #2 overall ranked point guard by Future150 in class of 2018.
While just a freshman, Ramey has already been raved about for years. His handles are getting better at the high school level. He brings a lot of leadership at the point guard position. Ramey can really shoot the ball, has good court vision, and plays good on-ball defense.
CBC, Junior, Point Guard; Offers: Missouri State, Indiana State, Others.
Another member of the EYBL’s talented St. Louis Eagles 2016 class, Barnes also has interest from Tennessee, St. Louis, Memphis and Creighton.
Kickapoo, Senior, 6-foot-3, Combo Guard; Arkansas-Little Rock commit
Batiste helped lead Kickapoo’s 21-6 team in 2013-14, when he averaged 9.1 points, 5.9 assists and 6.4 rebounds a game. The shooting guard again has helped the Chiefs to a strong start in a well-balanced lineup. Batiste is the #8 ranked player by Rivals Missouri.
Sioux City North, Senior, 6-foot-5 guard; Offers: San Jose State, Northern Colorado, South Dakota, others
Tillo ranked second in Iowa’s largest class (Class 4) in scoring (21.6 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (10.1) and led the Stars to a 21-5 year and the Class 4 state semifinals. He is currently leading almost every offensive category for 4A in Iowa. Tillo will be a contender for Mr. Basketball in Iowa. Article on Tillo
About the Venue
- Municipal Auditorium’s arena underwent $5 million renovation with new video boards, LED scorer’s table, sound system, lighting, seating in the lower level
- Arena has 7,316 permanent seats, 2,405 seats on risers plus capacity for 1,000 theater-style on main floor. 10,000+ total seating!
- Two LED video boards: 47 feet wide, 12.5 feet tall
- Hosted most Final Fours and tournament games, until 2013 (Dayton)
- UMKC’s home floor for basketball games