After spanning the country during a short summer with AAU and travel teams, some of the area’s best basketball talent will return home for a back-to-school classic.
The 18th annual Battle of the Bridges All-Star Classic will feature local stars, from all age groups, from Southern Indiana against some of the top talent from the Louisville area. Saturday’s 18-game festival at MidAmerica Sports Center will conclude with the girls game at 6:30 p.m. and the boys game at 8.
The event also includes all-star games from every age division from grades 3-9, plus future stars games for incoming freshmen and sophomores. In addition, the event also includes tournaments that conclude on Sunday, including teams from each age group and 12 different states, with those games contested at various sites across Louisville.
The tournaments will attract over 1,500 players for the three-day event, but the centerpiece is the All-Star Classic, which creates a “border battle” similar to the annual June series between the Indiana and Kentucky All-Stars. While that event is going through struggles on the Kentucky side, “the rivalry is still alive,” said Gary Darby, the event director.
On the Indiana side, the headliner on the boys roster is New Albany’s Romeo Langford, a sophomore who is already being targeted by Division I programs across the Midwest. He suffered an ankle injury during a trip to the Top-100 Super Sophomore Camp in Atlanta in late June.
Langford, who has already had unofficial visits to Indiana and Ohio State, averaged 17.6 points and 5.8 rebounds as a New Albany freshman, leading the Bulldogs to a 23-3 record and a Class 4-A sectional title. The 6-foot-3 wing led the Bulldogs in five statistical categories and was limited to single digits in points only once.
The roster also includes Jeffersonville’s Tommy Luce, the son of new Jeffersonville coach Don Luce.
On the Kentucky side, Male’s Alex Cook is a Bellarmine recruit, while Bullitt East’s Tyler Sharpe is one of the state’s top sharp shooters from the perimeter.
Providence’s Claire Rauck, who carried the Pioneers to their first regional championship in 2015, is the main attraction on the Indiana girls roster.
Action will begin with the third-graders at 8:30 a.m., leading to the future stars girls at 4 p.m. and the future stars boys at 5:15.
For more Kentuckiana and Indiana high school sports news, follow Justin Sokeland on Twitter @golfguru55.