This weekend, Portland once again plays host to the Rose City Showcase, an elite AAU tournament featuring teams from the Pacific Northwest and around the country. This tournament rules; I can't believe it's been a year since the last one. The list of current and future NBA players that have come through the RCS is ridiculous and I need not list them all off for you, but here's a sample: Dwight Howard, Martell Webster, Rodney Stuckey, Kevin Love, Tyreke Evans, and my current BFF Wayne Ellington.
Last year, we saw Grant High's Mike Moser take a leap forward, expanding his game with outside range and real intensity that propelled him to a UCLA scholarship. We also saw the breakout of Nigel Williams-Goss, the #1 middle-schooler in the country. We also saw Freddie Jones and Ime Udoka chillin'.
This showcase is a great chance to mentally condition yourself for the NBA's Summer League, as it is scheduled similarly: games run back-to-back-to-back-to-back with little delay. A basketball junkie's dream.
The showcase kicks off tomorrow night at Lewis and Clark College (0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219).
- 5 PM -- Derrick Rose All Stars vs. Team Oregon
- 6:15PM -- Emerald City Pioneers vs. Friends of Hoop
- 7:30PM -- Seattle Rotary Select vs. MBA Elite
- 8:45PM -- I-5 Elite vs. Team A.C.C.E.S.S.
The must-see game tomorrow night is Rotary versus MBA. Rotary features Josh Smith (a top 10 prospect nationally in the Class of 2010) and Tony Wroten, Jr. (the #1 prospect nationally in the class of 2011). Smith is a huge, bruising Power Forward with the potential to break a rim this weekend and go one-and-done to the NBA. Check out this youtube for a taste of Smith's game. Wroten might have the flashiest game of anyone from the Northwest since Jamal Crawford and also has one-and-done written all over him even though he's only a rising junior in high school. Here's a youtube. MBA is stacked top to bottom and stars LaQuinton Ross, another top 10 prospect nationally in the class of 2011. Here's a youtube.
The best high school player in Portland this year, hands down, is Jefferson's Terrence Jones and he will be playing in the nightcap for Team I-5 Elite. He knows how to put on a show and is guaranteed to provide a few "WOW" moments with his all-around offensive game.
For a full preview and total coverage all weekend long, check out Tim Brown over at Oregonlive.
For schedules and team information, check out the Rose City Showcase online.
I'll have a tourney recap with some pictures on Sunday. I hope to see you out there. Tickets are always affordable so you've got no excuse: support local hoops!
-- Ben (email@example.com)
PS Mad because there was no Blazers news in this post? Read my somewhat lengthy offseason Q and A with the Portland Mercury.