(KLAMATH FALLS) -- Oregon Tech and the Herald and News are bringing together the first ever Herald and News High School Hoops Classic, Sunday, April 27, in a partnership that looks to honor Klamath Basin upperclassmen basketball players.
Proceeds will help support the OIT women's basketball program.
The girls will kick off the classic at 4 p.m. at Oregon Tech's Danny Miles Court, and the boys will play at 6 p.m.
Tech women's basketball coach Scott Meredith said: “The way the Klamath Basin appreciates sports, I think it has the potential to be a successful event to recognize the local seniors. It gives the Klamath Basin one last chance to watch these kids play.”
Admission will be $5 for the general public, and seniors over age 65 and all active military personnel will be charged $3.
“We are using it as a fundraiser for our women's basketball program to help pay for things like traveling to the national tournament, equipment, recruiting,” Meredith said. “There are a lot of little things that can go on like car washes and bake sales, but we're doing what we do best, putting on a basketball event.”
Twenty boys and 20 girls will make up the two teams, which will be coached by OIT basketball players. Once rosters are finalized, the community will have the opportunity to vote for the starters of the teams online.
“I think (an online vote) is a fun way to choose a starting lineup,” Meredith said. “It helps develop interest in the game. It's a neat component to get the fans involved and give them stake in the game, as well.
“The first year is about getting the event on the map. It's something we are going to want to continue to do, year after year, and it's something you have to start at square one,” Meredith said. “So far, the response has been really positive from the participants. We want to build this event to the point where we can pack Danny Miles Court.” Coaches for the boys game have yet to be determined, but, for the girls game, Meredith's four seniors from the Hustlin' Owls team that won the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament and advanced to the NAIA DII national tournament will lead the two squads.
“I think (my players) are really excited,” Meredith said. “Kassi Conditt and Maria Ramirez will coach one team, and Karissa Dixon and Kiana Caban will coach the other.”
The Herald and News High School Hoops Classic looks to become a highly anticipated annual sporting event in the Klamath Basin for years to come. “We want to get the Hoops Classic established and give the fans in the Basin a couple more good basketball games,” Meredith said.
By BRETT A. SOMMERS
H&N Sports Reporter