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Former William Byrd standout Chad Myers will lead the five-hour camp Saturday.
Wednesday, October 17, 2103
Flying under the radar as a high school basketball prospect is getting harder to do in the Roanoke Valley.
First, Luke Hancock goes from unheralded and under-recruited as a senior at Hidden Valley to the national stage, where he earned Final Four most outstanding player honors in leading Louisville to the NCAA championship in April.
Now prep players in the area will have a chance at their own national exposure Saturday at Spectrum Sports Academy.
Hoop Group is coming to town.
The New Jersey-based operation is making a one-day stop in Roanoke, giving local high school players the chance to train and compete against high-level talent while being evaluated by national recruiting experts.
The one-day evaluation camp is run by Roanoke Valley native Chad Myers, who joined Hoop Group as one of its coaching directors after spending two years as the head coach of the postgraduate team at Hargrave Military Academy.
Myers, a former standout at William Byrd and an ex-assistant coach at Radford University, is ending Hoop Group’s fall tour in Roanoke after stops in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
Myers is hoping to attract approximately 100 local players for a five-hour session that includes drills and two full high school length games for each participant.
“I think a lot of kids get missed sometimes,” Myers said. “They just don’t get an opportunity in Roanoke sometimes because it’s not a big metropolitan area.”
Myers has lined up NCAA Division II and Division III coaches to work the session.
More importantly, writers from the National Recruiting Report, ESPN.com and Rivals will evaluate each player as part of a service that nearly every college coach in the country receives.
“This Hoop Group deal now is kind of like the Five-Star deal was in our day,” Cave Spring coach Billy Hicks said. “I think Hoop Group has a very good reputation with college recruiters now.
“At the end of the day, you have to play well in front of the college coaches to get an offer, but what it does is if a [coach] hears through Hoop Group that you’re a prospect, then you’ll get a look that you may not have gotten.”
To further entice local players to pay the $125 entry fee, Myers has invited players from several teams such as Hargrave Military Academy and Miller School.
Players from at least four states already have signed up.
Hicks, who will coach some of the drills and also serve as an evaluator, hopes Hoop Group’s stay in Roanoke is not one-and-done.
It doesn’t hurt to drop the names of former Roanoke-area stars like George Lynch, Curtis Staples, J.J. Redick, J.R. Reynolds, Troy Daniels and Hancock.
“You’re not going to find an area that has produced as many big-time players per capita,” the Cave Spring coach said. “Just a ton of great players have come out of here. How many towns the size of Roanoke have produced that many big-time players?
“There may not be a real big-time player here right now, but at the very least, you get a day three weeks before the season starts of high-level competition.
“If you have a good day against top-level competition, and you get a good report and somebody sees it, you never know where that can lead.”
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