The biggest star of this season’s Bass Pro Tournament of Champions will likely not play in the event because of an injury, according to USA TODAY.
Julius Randle, the No. 2-ranked prospect in the country by Rivals.com, fractured his right foot Saturday and will likely miss three months after today’s surgery, his mother told USA TODAY.
Randle plays for Plano (Texas) Prestonwood Christian, which is scheduled to play in the high school basketball tournament Jan. 17-19 at JQH Arena.
“With the talent we have this year, it’s tough news to hear, but we’ve also got really set up with lots of talent,” tournament director Mark Fisher said. “There is one publication that has all six of our outlying schools in the top 50 of the preseason polls.”
Monteverde (Fla.) Academy is rated the No. 6 team in the country in the USA TODAY Super 25, which features three T of C teams.
Another Prestonwood headliner, Mickey Mitchell, also will miss the event with a knee injury. Mitchell, a consensus top-five player in the Class of 2015, tore his anterior cruciate ligament earlier this month in a football game.
“That’s two potential NBA players,” Fisher said. “There’s a risk of kids, once we book them so early, you run the risk of kids transferring or kids getting hurt.”
Without Randle, the event’s top-rated senior this year becomes Rivals’ No. 9, Kasey Hill of Monteverde, a Florida commit. Three of the deep field’s other players are rated in the top 17 in this year’s senior class by Rivals: uncommitted Monteverde center Dakari Johnson (13), Texas-El Paso commit Isaac Hamilton of Los Angeles St. John Bosco (16) and Arkansas commit Bobby Portis of Little Rock (Ark.) Hall (17).
Local teams Hillcrest and Nixa join Mount Washington (Ky.) Bullitt East and Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI to round out the field.
Tickets go on sale Monday at the JQH Arena box office. Reserve seats on the lower level are $36 for the weekend. Single-night reserved seats are $12 per night and available at the door. General admission seats are available at the door and are $30 for the weekend, or $10 a day. Students are $21 for the event, or $7 a day.
For more information, contact the box office at 417-836-7678 or 888-476-7849.