Seven U of L, UK, IU, WKU recruits named to Derby Classic, which will air on WDRB, FS2
Seven Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky basketball recruits will compete in the 2017 Derby Classic, which will air on WDRB and FS2.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Seven recruits committed to Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky highlight the 22-player roster for the Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s, which will be played April 15 at Freedom Hall.
The game, which tips at 7 p.m., will be televised by WDRB locally as well as nationally by FS2.
Four members of the University of Louisville’s Top 10 recruiting class will play for the Thunder team:
Malik Williams, a 6-foot-11 center from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Snider High School.
Darius Perry, a 6-2 point guard from Wheeler, Ga.
Lance Thomas, a 6-9 power forward from Norcross, Ga.
Jordan Nwora, a 6-8 wing from Vermont Academy.
The four U of L signees will be joined by WKU recruit Taveion Hollingsworth. He’s a 6-2 point guard from Dunbar High School in Lexington.
The Lightning team will feature one recruit from UK and another from IU, as well as two targets of those programs.
The Kentucky recruit is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a 6-5 guard from Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Tenn. The Indiana recruit is Justin Smith, a 6-7 forward from Stevenson High School in suburban Chicago. Smith is expected to meet with new Indiana coach Archie Miller Thursday night to discuss his future with the Hoosiers. Smith signed with IU when Tom Crean was the Hoosiers’ coach. He has not requested a release from his letter of intent.
On Friday, Miller is also expected to meet with another Derby Classic player – Aljami Durham, a 6-4 guard from Berkmar, Ga. Durham has requested his release from Indiana, although he remains open about playing for the Hoosiers.
A third Indiana recruit – forward Cliffton Moore from suburban Philadelphia – withdrew from the game to play in another all-star event next weekend. Moore has also requested his release from IU, although he is scheduled to meet with Miller this weekend.
Kentucky is recruiting one more player on the Lightning roster – Mark Smith, a 6-5 guard from Edwardsville, Ill. Smith is one of the top unsigned players in the nation, drawing interest from UK, IU, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas and other schools.
Another player with local ties is Jacob Epperson, a 6-11 center committed to Creighton. Epperson’s father, Kenny, starred at Butler High School in Louisville before playing at Toledo and as a professional in Australia.
“This game generates an incredible amount of interest year after year because of the opportunity it provides to see the future stars of our local universities in action for the first time,” WDRB President and General Manager Bill Lamb said in a statement.
“The addition of the FOX Sports telecast, will allow even more fans to tune-in to see their future basketball stars.”
”We’re excited to showcase some of the nation’s top future basketball stars to a national audience on FS2 and FOX Sports GO,” said Josh Oakley, FOX Sports Executive Director, Acquisitions and League Operations.
“The Derby Festival Basketball Classic is a great chance for viewers to get the first look at some of the players who are sure to be making headlines in the next years to come.”
Tickets are $18 in advance ($20 at the door) and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com and by phone through TicketMaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets for the game and 2017 Pegasus Pins will allow for free admission to the Horseshoe Foundation Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars, which will be held on Friday, April 14, at Indiana University Southeast.
The complete rosters for both sides are at the right.
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