Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some Bojangle's Shootout-related advice for Charlotte's 49ers

Several national high school basketball recruiting analysts said the top post-Christmas tournament in the country was right here in the Charlotte area.

And the Bojangles' Shootout is beginning to run into a problem.

It's becoming too popular.

I love the site at Marvin Ridge High, just a few miles down the road from the Ballantyne area. The new Union County school is beautiful and boasts facilities as good as any public school I've visited in 20 years of working at this newspaper. It feels every bit like a small college campus.

The 1,700-seat gym, however, gets filled up quick with an event like this. Some fans couldn't get into the championship games Saturday.

It happened at 2,200-seat Charlotte Latin, too.

With the tournament getting bigger every year and attracting more interest, a natural move would be to go to Charlotte's Mine Shaft and Halton Arena.

A key for the 24-team Bojangles' is having two gyms, preferably at one site. I think Davidson's 5,000-seat main arena would be great, but I'm told there's not another gym at that site.

So if I'm Judy Rose, AD at Charlotte, I'm getting in touch with the folks at the Bojangles' and offering up my place for a three-year deal. And I wouldn't charge the folks at Athletes United For Youth a dime. Reason? First the tournament proceeds go to benefit AUY's mission to benefit underprivileged youth in the community, mainly through after-school computer learning centers. So Charlotte would be giving back to the community by reducing overhead for AUY.

Second, Charlotte would get to show off its beautiful arena and facilities to top recruits who are annually coming into the Bojangles' tournament. It's a great recruiting tool and the same reason why UNC and Wake and N.C. State loan facilities to the N.C. High School Athletic Association for state championship events.

And kids talk. If a top recruit like Derrick Favors comes here and likes it, maybe he tells a friend and he tells a friend and maybe -- just maybe -- you land a kid like that who is considering some bigger name schools, but he knows that Charlotte has a certain feel and he's familiar with the school.

If nothing else, it's worth a three-year gamble to see.
Langston Wertz Jr.


DJ Jazzy-Jazzy-Jazz said...

Langston, usually when you post, I'm scatching my head. But, this time, I don't think you could be more correct. Judy, pick up the phone!

Anonymous said...

DJ what do you scratch your head at. I have never been LW's biggest fan, but dude is pretty sensible in his writing here and in the paper. I guess I have more respect for him. He doesn't BS us like Sorensen and he doesn't try to pretty up everything like Fowler (captain wishy washy).

Anonymous said...

Langston, as a Charlotte alum and fan, this is great idea! I attended the tournament and my friends and myself were asking the same question. Why isn't this at Halton and the mine shaft? Judy Rose? Hello?

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the old mine shaft in the Belk Gym? There aren't any bleachers in there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Great idea Langston. And just when I thought you were a Niner-hater. We can put some portable seats in the mine shaft. i'd love to get this event in our place. I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with others here. We should have this at Halton/Mine Shaft. Upfitting Mine shaft is simple. Why hasn't it been there already?

Anonymous said...

Bojangles is not allowed on the UNCC due to its exclusive agreement for food services with Chick-fila.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this is probably a sponsorship issue.

Anonymous said...

Is it a sponsorship issue or an NCAA Div. I issue? First of all, GREAT IDEA, but if they held the tourney at UNCC would the Seniors on each team have to declare that as an official recruiting trip to UNCC and possibly not be able to take a trip to a school of their choice?

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