No one needs a thermometer to indicate this summer has been rather hot on the Grand Strand.
And still, those with Big Shots — a locally-based basketball training, scouting and recruiting service, as well as tournament host — hope the mercury has some momentum left in it.
The sun won’t be necessary for this type of heat, though. Hoops being played at a high level will take care of that.
A who’s who of America’s top basketball prospects — and college coaches, for that matter — are expected to be in town this weekend, taking part in this year’s Big Shots Myrtle Beach Live showcases. Held at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center, the first session of activities is set for Thursday, July 13 and Friday, July 14, while the latter one will take place over the weekend.
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“It tends to be a very fun weekend where a lot of good basketball will be played,” said Kevin Schneider, Big Shots vice president and tournament director. “You’ll see great basketball players, countless coaches and scouts. You’re also seeing a lot of kids vying for top spots in their respective classes, so it makes it that much more fun.”
More than 400 teams have registered for this week’s sessions. And if this litter is anything like ones in the past, expect to hear a lot in coming years from some of those taking the floor this weekend.
Reigning NCAA men’s basketball national champion North Carolina all had players participate in the Big Shots Myrtle Beach showcase.
By his latest count, Schneider estimates more than 100 NBA players have participated in the annual Big Shots Myrtle Beach showcases. Included among that lot is a pair of No. 1 picks in the NBA Draft — Washington’s John Wall and Minnesota forward Karl-Anthony Towns — as well as the league’s recently minted Rookie of the Year, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon.
Also an alum of the tournament is this past year’s college basketball National Player of the Year, Frank Mason III, the Kansas point guard selected by the Sacramento Kings in the recently completed 2017 NBA Draft.
“It’s really used as a proving ground of sorts for a lot of these guys,” Schneider said. “All of them want to get a leg up on the other, and none of them are willing to let the other guys use them to make a name.”
Here are a few of the names confirmed for this weekend’s activities:
▪ David McCormack, Team Loaded (Va.): A rising senior at Oak Hill Academy (Va.), the 6-9, 260-pound center holds offers from Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech and at least 25 more schools.
▪ Flo Thamba, Team Loaded (NC): A 6-10 rising senior from Mountain Mission (Va.), he has offers from Charlotte, East Carolina, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Virginia, VCU and Wichita State.
▪ Armando Bacot, Team Loaded (Va.) A top prospect in the Class of 2019, he holds better than 30 offers, among them some of the nation’s heavyweights in Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, NC State, UCLA and Virginia.
▪ Isaiah Todd, Team Loaded (Va.): Top-rated prospect in Class of 2020. Said Schneider: “He’s a Kevin Durant-like player with a guard’s skills.”
▪ Maceo Austin, Bridge City Ballers: A top 150 player in the Class of 2019, he currently holds offers from Duquesne, Penn State, UAB and West Virginia.
Big Shots hosted its All-American Camp throughout the day on Wednesday. Like the two Myrtle Beach Live sessions it precedes, the event will be an all-day affair. For more information, visit bigshots.net or myrtlebeachsportscenter.com.
Big Shots Myrtle Beach Live
Date: First session is Thursday, July 13 and Friday, July 14, with second session on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16. Activities will be held throughout the day.
Where: Myrtle Beach Sports Center, located at 2115 Farlow St.
Cost: Admission is $20 for a daily pass, while two-day passes will cost $30