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PREP BASKETBALL: Fort Smith Northside to host national hoops tourney in November

by Leland Barclay Special to the NWA Democrat-Gazette | July 30, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.
Basketball Ball in Hoop basketball tile / Getty Images

FORT SMITH – The Big Show is coming to Fort Smith Northside.

Northside boys basketball Coach Eric Burnett announced on Thursday details of The Big Show Tip-Off Showcase, which be held annually at Northside on Nov. 19.

"It's going to be a really good showcase," Burnett said. "We're excited about it."

Five games will be held with both a local and a national flavor of basketball talent.

Games will start at noon, be played every two hours and conclude with a feature game at 8 p.m.

Rodney Perry, former Northside standout, who was at Link Academy in Branson, Mo., has been urging Burnett to hold such an event.

"We're best friends and we've been talking about it," Burnett said. "He just started putting teams together. We got it all together, the contracts are in."

With the completion of the new $14.5 million arena last January and a capacity of 2,350, the timing was right to form such an event at tradition-rich Northside, which now has two alumni in the NBA in Isaiah Joe (Philadelphia) and Jaylin Williams (Oklahoma City).

"It's something that I've always wanted to do, and me and Rodney had talked about it so when we got the new gymnasium we did it," Burnett said. "It's a done deal."

Perry has been the coach at Link Academy before just recently accepting an assistant coaching position at Kansas State under Jereme Tang. Perry guided Link Academy to the GEICO National Tournament championship game last year and a 34-2 record.

Perry also led MOKAN Elite, an AAU team, to the prestigious Nike Peach Jam championship in 2016, 2019, and 2022.

Link Academy will play in the feature game of the Big Show Tip-Off Showcase against Denver-based Accelerated Schools, a nontraditional private program at 8 p.m. Accelerated Schools will feature Baye Fall and Assane Diop, two of the nation's top recruits. Fall is considered the No. 12 prospect nationally and Diop No. 80. Diop. Both are 6-10 and are being recruited by Arkansas.

"There's a lot of people after those guys," Burnett said. "There will be some players on the floor."

Little Rock Parkview, which features 6-7 2024 recruit Dallas Thomas, will play North Kansas City in the middle of the five-game slate.

"That will be a really good game, too," Burnett said. "It's a big deal. I'm really excited about it. It will be a big day for basketball in this side of the state."

Alma will tipoff the Showcase at noon against Springdale Har-Ber with Southside playing Oklahoma City Southeast at 2 p.m. Northside will play Bryant at 6 p.m.

The Showcase will also serve as the season openers for Northside, Southside, Alma and Har-Ber.

One ticket will allow for admittance for all five games.

At a glance

The Big Show Tip-Off Showcase

At Fort Smith

WHERE Northside Arena

WHEN Nov. 19

WHAT A 10-team, five-game basketball showcase featuring Fort Smith Northside, Fort Smith Southside, Alma, Springdale Har-Ber, Bryant and Little Rock Parkview, and out-of-state teams from Oklahoma City Southeast, North Kansas City, Link Academy of Branson and Accelerated Schools of Denver.


Alma vs. Springdale Har-Ber, noon

OKC Southeast vs. FS Southside, 2 p.m.

North KC vs. LR Parkview, 4 p.m.

FS Northside vs. Bryant, 6 p.m.

Link Academy vs. Accelerated Schools, 8 p.m.


Print Headline: Northside to host national hoops tourney


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