While the Holiday Hoops Invitational at Michigan State’s Breslin Center will showcase some of the top boys basketball in the area, the Portland Mid-Michigan Showcase will feature some of its best girls basketball.
The event, which is in just its second year, is starting to find its way with two full days of games.
“The whole concept is just to try to get a number of high school girls basketball programs in the same gym at the same time,” Portland coach Ray Kimball said. “It’s just big for girls basketball. We’ve got quality girls basketball in the mid-Michigan area and we’ve proven that over the years and we just want to highlight those teams.”
The event was modeled after the Motor City Roundball Classic, an event for girls and boys teams which began on Wednesday and will be played for the 18th consecutive year.
“Our hope was just to do something in the mid-Michigan area and feature our Lansing area teams and then bring in some outside groups that would have some name recognition,” Kimball said.
Last year the inaugural Portland Showcase was just one day, but it featured some outstanding teams, including a Grand Rapids Catholic Central club that finished runner-up in the Class B state tournament. A Division 2 college game was also played between Michigan Tech and Lewis University.
There won’t be a college game in this year’s version, but the lineup of high school games is impressive.
DeWitt will play the host Raiders in a matchup of two of the better girls programs in the mid-Michigan area, while East Lansing will take on Goodrich, the defending Class B state champions and owners of a 34-game winning streak.
“We’re just excited to have the Class B defending champ in the event and East Lansing has been one of the premier programs in the area as well the last number of years and it’s just going to be an exciting matchup of two quality teams,” Kimball said.
“What a perfect opportunity to not just find out where you’re at, but compete against the best and that’s what we’re looking to do and that’s why we’re just so pleased for the opportunity,” East Lansing coach Rob Smith said while noting the talent of a team that has not loss since 2011. “Not only that, but to get out there to Portland and see all the other teams in the area, I just think that’s going to be a nice treat for everyone to get out there and just enjoy the strong teams that we have in this area.”
Admission is $5 per day and will be good for all games being played that day.