HAMPTON, Va. - The top high school hoops talent in the country is assembled in Hampton Roads this weekend. The reason? One of the top talents to ever play the game.
Allen Iverson's inaugural Roundball Classic is a three day basketball event featuring some of the country's best high school seniors.
"Why not do this at home?" Iverson asked a group of reporters, including News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler Wednesday. "If not home, where? I want these guys to feel the energy I did coming out of here."
Wednesday, Iverson's alma mater Bethel High School hosts a three-point shootout and slam dunk contest. Thursday, Iverson, the Basketball Hall of Famer, will host an awards banquet and present the first recipient of the Allen Iverson National Player of the Year Award. The main event, the All-Star Game, commences Friday, April 21 at Churchland High in Portsmouth.
"The goal is to be able to have the best talent from all over the country and have a special game," Iverson said speaking about his vision for the event. "I want these guys to have the opportunity to showcase their talent."
One of the top-notch recruits playing in the game is Matt Coleman, a University of Texas signee. Coleman, a Norfolk native, played at Maury High School before transferring to basketball power Oak Hill.
"It's a phenomenal feeling to come back home," Coleman said. "With the Allen Iverson name across the chest, one of the greats from The 757, it's an honor. He cares and wants to be a part of this whole event. To see his face on the sideline is important - that means a lot. Not everybody does that."
"I mean no disrespect to any of the guys I played against in high school, but this is on another level," Iverson said about the ability of some of the players assembled for the game. "You can see how these kids' games are elevated so much."