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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Youth basketball tourney opens today

KU basketball target Trier among players at Lawrence-bound Showcase

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The Sunflower Showcase national youth basketball tournament — which runs today through Sunday at Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee — is headed to Sport Pavilion Lawrence at Rock Chalk Park in July of 2015.

“We’re excited to expand to Lawrence — how can you not (be excited)?” said Mike Enright, one of the tournament organizers.

The Lawrence event will be July 23-26, 2015.

“One of the top three college basketball programs in the country, avid fans, a new state-of-the-art facility with additional courts and support from the community and city on every aspect of holding such an event … the Sunflower Showcase looks to be a permanent fixture in Lawrence for many years to come and bring top-level recruits for coaches and fans to watch compete,” Enright said.

The tourney will be held during the July evaluation period, meaning college coaches from all over the country will descend on Lawrence. Parts of the tourney could conceivably remain in Shawnee, organizers said.

“For local fans — especially K-State, Wichita State and KU fans — the Sunflower Showcase features many players who could be the faces of the future for their programs,” said Enright.

Tournament organizers are looking into a possible girls tournament in April in Lawrence.

“Obviously, we are super-excited about bringing this tournament to town and all those teams (80-100) from around the country,” said Chad Tower, facility operations supervisor for Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department.

“We feel our facility will meet the needs of all those teams. A four-day tournament like that will be a huge opportunity for the city of Lawrence to showcase what it has, all the offerings it has. It’ll be a great Chamber of Commerce weekend for everybody. We hope this (facility) will continue to bring events like this to town.”

The marquee player at this year’s Showcase is KU target Allonzo Trier, a 6-foot-3 guard from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada, who is ranked No. 12 nationally by Rivals.com. His team will be playing the Florida Flash at 7 p.m. today, then at 1 p.m. Friday versus Top City and 7:15 p.m. Friday versus Southern Stampede in Okun Fieldhouse.

Unranked John Collins, a 6-9 senior from Newman High in West Palm Beach, Florida, who is being recruited by Kansas State, plays for the Flash; No. 55-rated Tony Bradley, 6-10 junior from Bartow (Florida) High, who is also being recruited by KSU, plays for the Stampede.

For additional tournament information go to Sunflowershowcase.com

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