(Louisville, KY.) The 30th annual Eddie Ford's Kentucky Hoopfest gives high school basketball players an opportunity to be noticed by college coaches.
Ford, who founded the tournament, says while the tournament can be difficult at times, he still loves overseeing the event every year. "I've got such a passion for the game of basketball that it doesn't seem like work that often," said Ford. The father of former University of Kentucky guard and current Oklahoma State head coach, Travis Ford says he gets a thrill out of giving kids an opportunity to gain some exposure when they may otherwise go unnoticed.
Former UK forward, and current Samford University assistant coach, Scott Padgett likes the format because every game is in one location. It also gives him a chance to see a talented athlete, that he wouldn't ordinarily get to observe. "(Coaches) might see a kid that they would have never recruited, but they're watching a kid on another team and liked him," said Padgett.
For local players like Ballard's Corey Douglas and Butler's Jeremiah Bell, peeking over your shoulder and seeing a college coach on the sidelines can be a little nerve racking. "You see a coach and you always want that offer, and be able to play D-1 basketball. Sometimes it is (nerve racking), but I just still try to play my game, and stay within the rhythm and help my team get the victory," said Bell. He still hasn't made his college decision, and he's hoping to receive a scholarship offer. "RIght now I don't know where I'm going. I just hope one day I can play on the D-1 level for free," said Bell.
Douglas has grown three inches since the end of the high school season and has already caught the eye of Bellarmine University head coach, Scott Davenport. Douglas says a college scholarship would be a huge stepping stone towards accomplishing one of his goals in life. "It would be really great. I want to go to college and become an accountant", said Douglas.
Copyright 2013 WAVE News <http://www.wave3.com>. All rights reserved.