PLYMOUTH — Roughly a month after Plymouth player Mack Mercer and PHS coach Ryan Bales took the floor in the Indiana Junior-Senior All-Star series, the duo will be reunited on an even bigger stage at the National High School Basketball Coaches Association’s Rising Star event.
This is the first year for the NHSBCA event for seniors-to-be, and it will be held Sunday through Tuesday at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis. Squads representing Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin are taking part in the inaugural event, which includes five rounds of games, a skills competition and off-court sessions for the teams.
Teams will arrive on Sunday with activities including an opening ceremony, a guest speaker and a social gathering, and competition is set for Monday and Tuesday. Admission is $10 for a one-day pass or $15 for a two-day pass. The on-court action begins with skills competition at 9 a.m. Monday, and the first round of games will follow at 10 a.m.
Along with Mercer, fellow 2013 Indiana Junior All-Stars scheduled to participate in the event include Indiana commit James Blackmon Jr. of Marion, Trevon Bluiett of Park Tudor and Indiana State commit Bryant McIntosh of Greensburg.
Mercer scored a combined 19 points as Indiana swept Kentucky in the Junior All-Star series last month, then followed up with eight points and three rebounds in the Indiana Juniors versus Senior All-Star series opener and four points, two assists, a steal and a game-high four blocks in that series finale June 12.
As he did in the Indiana Juniors All-Star series, Bales will serve as an assistant coach under Columbus East’s Brent Chitty. Tipton’s Brad Dickey will also assist.
Standouts from other states slated to play in the Rising Stars event include Javairius Amos-Mays, Chris Parrilli and Josias Sanon from Illinois, Reed Tellinghausen, Jalen Jones and Cole Clearman from Iowa, Trey Edwards, Trent Gilbert and Hunter Shelton from Kentucky, Javon Bess, Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards from Ohio and Jerrell DeBerry, Sean Clarey, Jordan Shea and Turner Moen of Wisconsin.
Ira Childress of Childress Sports Consulting and Bob Lovell of Indiana Sports Talk are among the guest speakers. Childress, a former Ferris State University football player who has worked for the NCAA, will talk about the use of social media. Lovell, a former Horizon League administrator as well as basketball coach at IUPUI and Franklin College, will discuss the recruiting process as outlined in his book, “Recruiting Game Changers: Taking Control of Your Recruiting.”
This year’s event does not fall during an evaluation period for NCAA Division I coaches, but college coaches from lower levels may attend. Also, evaluators for several scouting services have indicated they will attend.
Indiana Basketball Coaches Association executive director Steve Witty said the plan is to move the Rising Senior Event to a July evaluation period in future years. Indianapolis again will host the competition in 2014.
“We had about five other states that were interested and will probably be in it next year,” Witty told The Indianapolis Star. “We have the support of the (National Basketball Coaches Association), and the reason we’re doing it is to bring an educational component to the summer events, as well as leadership and character building.”