TOC takes a major hit, kids are the real losers

22 Apr

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

There they were, jumping up and down on the wooden bleachers at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“Ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

Smiles everywhere.

The 14 and 15-year-olds from rural Georgia were doing their best Cameron Crazy impression. They didn’t have the coolest of shoes or the most expensive or newest pair of Jordans like most of their peers. They didn’t care.

I can promise you this: they were the happiest group of teens in the storied basketball cathedral at Duke that day.

This was roughly seven years ago. They were a non-descript AAU team with no Division I players. They were in Durham to play in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions. It was an experience that those young men will never forget.

That’s what I remember of the TOC. Not Dwight Howard bending rims or Kevin Love or the press conferences at campuses with the announcement of Duke or UNC pledges. All of that was fun, sure, but those kids from South Georgia will always stay with me.

The TOC will no longer be a place for kids to go to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Or North Carolina. Or NC State. The bucket list destinations are now no longer places for teams to play, says the NCAA.

Basketball recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons’ Tournament of Champions boys basketball tournament needs new playing sites after the NCAA adopted legislation earlier this month prohibiting non-scholastic tournaments from using  Division I facilities.

That’s a shame, a crying shame. The TOC is usually the only time the ACC venues are open to the public to be seen close up and behind the scenes. It is the only time you can watch a game full of college stars amongst a few hundred people.

Sundays at the Dean Dome the day before Memorial Day is one of the best days of the grassroots year.

Gibbons says he isn’t sure what his next step is for this year’s tournament.

 “I don’t know what we are going to do,” Gibbons said. “I’ve got teams that have already purchased their airplane tickets to come. This really yanks the rug from under us.”

It also rips out the bleachers under the feet of young kids that just want a chance to see something they’ll never experience.

Thanks, NCAA.

One Response to “TOC takes a major hit, kids are the real losers”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fastbreak Friday « - May 27, 2011

    […] I wrote about this topic last month. The NCAA prohibits any boys basketball tournament to be held on college campuses. http://nationalhoopsreport.net/2011/04/22/toc-takes-a-major-hit-kids-are-the-real-losers/ […]

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