The 30th annual Little General Scott Brown Memorial Classic is less than two weeks away, and a little bit of history will be made.
For the first time ever, the event will be held on two dates at two venues. Things will get started with the C. Adam Toney Class A all-stars taking on the Jan-Care Class AA all-stars Saturday, April 13, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. The day will begin with the Greater Beckley Prep 3-point shootout and slam dunk contest at 4 p.m.
The following day, the Mid-State Automotive Class AAA all-stars will meet the Employers’ Innovative Network national all-stars at University High in Morgantown. The shootout and dunk contest will get the day started at 2 p.m.
As has been the case the last several years, West Virginia University signees will highlight the national roster. This time those names are Oscar Tschiebwe and Miles “Deuce” McBride.
Tschiebwe is a five-star recruit out of Kennedy Catholic in Pennsylvania. McBride is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound point guard from Archbishop Moeller High in Cincinnati.
Tschiebwe, a 6-9, 250-pound center, played for the West in the annual McDonald’s All-American Game last Wednesday. He finished with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
“With him being the first five-star recruit West Virginia has ever signed, we thought it was important that the people of West Virginia get to see him play,” tournament director Bob Bolen said. “And he really wanted to play in this game.”
A scheduling conflict that would have prevented Tschiebwe from playing led to the decision to make the event a two-day affair.
“A lot of people want to see Oscar and Deuce. But Oscar will be playing in the Nike USA vs. The World Game that Friday night in Oregon. His flight back to Pittsburgh won’t be getting back until Saturday around 7 p.m.,” Bolen said.
“We tried to move it to Sunday at the Convention Center, but it was booked. So we decided to move it to Sunday at University High School. We’re expecting a huge crowd.”
Coaching the Class AA team will be Oak Hill’s Benitez Jackson. He led the Red Devils to their first state tournament appearance since 2011. Among the players on the team are Oak Hill teammates Andrew Work and Darrick McDowell.
Other local players for Class AA are McKinley Mann of James Monroe, Tanner Huffman and Jake Hamilton of Nicholas County, Hunter Walters of Westside and R.J. Hood of Wyoming East.
The Class A team will be coached by Michael Gray of Class A state champion Webster County. The Highlanders won their first state title two weeks ago and became the first West Virginia boys basketball team to finish a season 28-0.
Gray will be reunited with the Webster trio of Dorian Groggs, Cole Taylor and the coach’s son, Tyler Gray.
Also among the Class A players are Jay Moore of Greater Beckley Christian, Luke Vass of Fayetteville, Meadow Bridge teammates Kobe Rozell and Jared Gladwell, Samuel Wykle of Summers County and Jacob Holliday of Richwood.
The only local players playing for Class AAA will be Woodrow Wilson all-staters Bryce Radford and Danny Bickey and Harry Morrice of Beckley Prep.
Tschiebwe will be joined by his Kennedy Catholic teammate Mattia Acunzo, who has signed to play at Toledo.
“We will have a lot of talent involved in both games,” Bolen said.
The Sunday game will have a northern appeal — University coach Joe Schmidle will lead the national team, with Fairmont’s David Retton coaching Class AAA.
Bolen is proud of the growth of the game, which was renamed in 1997 to honor late Register-Herald sports writer Scott Brown, who passed away in December 1996.
“At the time I was in my second year coaching (as an assistant) at Woodrow Wilson, and the goal of the game was to give people the chance to see Tink Brown, Kevin English and Chris Daniels one more time,” Bolen said. “It was Class AAA vs. Class AA-A combined and it was a hard fought game. Since then it has grown into more of a competitive game than your typical all-star game.
“Class A vs. Class AA, that’s automatic — everybody wants to win for their class. Then we have Huntington Prep kids versus WVU kids. We divide them by location and rivalries, and they want to win. I think that’s what separates our game from others.”
All tickets for both games are $8. Tickets for the game in Beckley can be ordered in advance at beckleyconventioncenter.com.
Preorder information for the game in Morgantown will be released as it becomes available.
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C. Adam Toney Class A All-Stars
Dorian Groggs, Webster County
Cole Taylor, Webster County
Tyler Gray, Webster County
Jay Moore, Greater Beckley Christian
Luke Vass, Fayetteville
Kobe Rozell, Meadow Bridge
Jared Gladwell, Meadow Bridge
Samuel Wykle, Summers County
Jacob Holliday, Richwood
Gavin Smith, Van
Briston Bennett, Trinity Christian
Daniel Woods, Trinity Christian
Head coach: Michael Gray, Webster County
Class AA Jan-Care Ambulance
Andrew Work, Oak Hill
Darrick McDowell, Oak Hill
McKinley Mann, James Monroe
Jordan Kish, Chapmanville
Brandon Elkins, Chapmanville
Evan McNeely, Poca
Tanner Huffman, Nicholas County
Jake Hamilton, Nicholas County
Hunter Walters, Westside
R.J. Hood, Wyoming East
Ronnell Blevins, Bluefield
Head coach: Benitez Jackson, Oak Hill
Employers’ Innovative Network All-Stars
Oscar Tshiebwe, WVU
Miles “Deuce” McBride, WVU
Mattia Acunzo, Toledo
Rodney Bucklew, University
Bunky Brown, George Washington
Keondre King, Wheeling Park
Cam Selders, Morgantown
Seth Fallon, Parkersburg South
Devin Collins, Chapmanville
Gabe Zummo, Notre Dame
Joel Robertson, Trinity Christian
Tanner Kennedy, Robert C. Byrd
Head coach: Joe Schmidle, University
Mid-State Automotive All-Stars
Quinn Slazinski, Huntington Prep
Alex Dutranoy, Huntington Prep D2
Greg Tribble, Huntington Prep
Harry Morrice, Beckley Prep
Anderson Mirambeaux, Teays Valley Christian
Mason Shifflett, Teays Valley Christian
Steven Verplanken, Teays Valley Christian
Bryce Radford, Woodrow Wilson
Danny Bickey, Woodrow Wilson
Joe Muto, Hurricane
Cavonte Duncan, Capital
Dasilas Jones, Fairmont
Head coach: David Retton, Fairmont