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Few regional events have grown more quickly than the Rockin’ The Hardwood 4 Showcase, which will be played in Fayetteville, Ark., on April 27-28. This year, tournament director Michael Hogue expects to welcome 72 total teams to the AOO Sports Complex.
“”We started the event because there just wasn’t a big-time event in the state of Arkansas. We had 38 teams our first year, and that was all done through connections, so to get to 72 teams in our fourth year is pretty good,” Hogue said. “We have teams coming from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Minnesota this year.”
According to Hogue, the tournament picked up a big lift in 2011 when All Star Girls Report Bret McCormick added the event to his summer calendar.
“When Bret came that second year, that really helped put us in a different category. That helped us a draw teams from different areas,” Hogue said. “This year, we are going to have four different scouting services at the event, so it has continued to improve.”
McCormick is now a regular attendee, and he is looking forward to the 2013 event.
“This is always a good event, and it is usually packed with a lot of good young talent,” McCormick said. “If it is like it has been in the past, this year’s tournament will have a lot of talented kids from the 2015-2019 classes.”
Top-flight clubs such as the Missouri Phenoms, San Antonio’s Finest, Oklahoma Select, Arkansas Mavericks and Missouri Valley Magic will join the hosts from Team Arkansas Elite, and a number of nationally-ranked prospects will be on the courts.
“I haven’t seen the rosters yet, but I know that Riley Rose and Kaylan Pugh will be there from Team Arkansas Elite, and Naphessa Collier from the Missouri Phenoms should be there,” McCormick said. “Those are three of the top players in the nation in the 2015 class.”
Rose is a 5-9 point guard who is listed at No. 37 in the class according to ASGR. Pugh is a 5-10 wing who is at No. 21. Collier, a 6-2 athlete, is ranked the highest at No. 4.
“Rose is a pure point guard who knows how to run the show, and she can score,” McCormick said. “Pugh is a tremendous athlete who knows how to use her abilities to attack the basket. Collier is a great athlete with an inside-out game, so she could play a number of positions.”