The hottest ticket in Columbia this weekend might be the 4th annual Bojangles’ Bash that begins Thursday at Ridge View High School.
Last year, the elite high school basketball showcase sold out three times – twice on Friday and again on Saturday. The same expectations are in place over the three-day span that will see 20 teams participate in 15 games.
It starts on Thursday with four games highlighted by Huntington Prep (West Va.) taking on Gray Collegiate. Another four games are on tap Friday, with Saturday offering seven games that begin at noon.
Brian Rosefield, the AD at Ridge View and showcase director, couldn’t be more pleased.
“It’s a testament to the folks we have working the event,” Rosefield said. “Bojangles is a top-notch organization and they’ve made it easy for us. Our goal is to be able to take care of the coaches, players and fans and with that as a backdrop, the event keeps growing and growing.”
When the event first came under the Bojangles’ Bash banner in 2013, it had six games over two days. It has grown.
“We get calls, emails and request through social media to come be a part of it,” he said. “It’s a little bit overwhelming the feedback we get from the teams that have been here before. They spread the way they were treated by word of mouth and that’s the best advertising you can do. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
“We’ve branded it as a national, elite showcase for high school basketball and that’s what we want to continue to do.”
Gray Collegiate has been a part of the event previously and coach Dion Bethea is glad to return. The War Eagles opened the season nationally ranked by USA Today and have standout talent in UNC commit Jalek Felton and highly regarded sophomore Juwan Gary.
“It’s an honor because we were one of the first participants and we appreciate them calling us back,” Bethea said. “This isn’t your average high school event.”
Rosefield expects 4,500 to 5,000 fans to crowd into the Ridge View gym over the three-day span. Five of the Top 100 recruits are expected to play.
Bojangles’ Bash Schedule
At Ridge View
Lexington vs. Westwood, 5 p.m.
Keenan vs. Dutch Fork, 6:15 p.m.
Huntington Prep (WV) vs. Gray Collegiate, 7:30 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln (NY) vs. Ridge View, 8:45 p.m.
York Prep vs. 22 Feet Academy, 5 p.m.
Spring Valley vs. Abraham Lincoln (NY), 6:15 p.m.
Dorman vs. Trinity Christian (NC), 7:30 p.m.
Ridge View vs. Huntington Prep (WV), 8:45 p.m.
Ben Lippen vs. Olympic (NC), noon
Cardinal Newman vs. Byrnes, 1:30 p.m.
22 Feet Academy vs. Dutch Fork, 3 p.m.
Trinity Christian (NC) vs. West Florence, 4:30 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln (NY) vs. Dorman, 6 p.m.
Huntington Prep (WV) vs. A.C. Flora, 7:30 p.m.
Miller Grove (Ga.) vs. Ridge View, 9 p.m.
Players to Watch
A.C. Flora – James Reese (Buffalo commit), Christian Brown, Deshawn Thomas
Ben Lippen – Seth Hester, Ryan McCray, Bryce Thompson, Garrison Moore
Byrnes – Hayden Brown (Citadel commit), Davonte Wright, Dreek Morgan
Cardinal Newman – Christian Jones (Stetson commit) Chico Carter, Brandon Martin
Dorman – Zach Butler (Ohio University commit), Gabe Bryant
Dutch Fork – Jordan Davis (Dayton signee), Deuce Dean, Willie Dunbar (Catawba signee)
Gray Collegiate – Jalek Felton (UNC signee), Juwan Gary, Khalil Robinson, Tommy Bruner
Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.V.) – Chase Johnson (Florida commit), Keldon Johnson
Keenan – Rodriguez Marshall, Dantrell Sligh-Rogers, Tariq Simmons
Lexington – Darius Bryant, Charles Shackelford
Miller Grove (Lithonia, Georgia) – Naquante Hardy, Jalen Mason
22 Feet Academy – Kyle Rawson, Mumin Tunc, Ousmane Ndim, Max Hoekstra
Ridge View – Trakell Fleming, Waylon Napper, Kaiden Rice, Malcolm Wilson
Trinity Christian (Fayetteville, N.C.) – Joey Baker, Josh Nickelberry
Westwood – Russell Jones, Terrance Barnes, Cameron Wormack, Terrell Harris
West Florence – Jalen Cameron, Sharone Wright Jr., Travion McCray
York Prep – DJ Burns, Jaron Williams, Zack Mack