If you want to see some of the best young basketball players in the state of North Carolina, then you will want to check out the Carolina Challenge this Saturday. The event takes place in Cary and you can find a complete list of players and directions to the event in this Carolina Challenge Link.
"The goal was to blend basketball with talking to kids about academics and life skills and packaging it all into one day," said Dave Telep who created the event which is in its third year of existence.
Telep is a respected analyst and scout, who is the head of basketball recruiting at Scout.com. He has now been a resident in the state for eleven years and has settled into the Triangle area. Telep's wife is from North Carolina and, as always, will be there to help out come Saturday.
"My original vision of the challenge was to get the most recruitable kids in our state together in one place and bonk them over the head with academics," said Telep who has been known to take a vested interest in the prospects he follows.
It's rare that an event takes the time to make a prospect realize how important academics are and to give some of them the opportunity to better their skills in the classroom and on the court.
Last year's event featured John Wall, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee and many others who are now household names to the many that follow AAU Basketball and recruiting. This year's event will be no different and those who attend will want to pay close attention to the kids in the class of 2011, many of whom are already rated in early national top 100 lists.
"Devince Boykins (Class of 2011) from Rutherford played football and basketball and will now concentrate on basketball and by 6:00 Saturday, I'll bet our whole state knows about him," stated Telep. He continued, "The kids in our state are starting to take some ownership in the event. A number of guys who played in past challenges will come back and act as mentors."
Other camp attendees will be UNC-bound Reggie Bullock of Rocky Mount and names like P.J. Hairston and C.J. Leslie, to name a few.
Each player will participate in three games in just one day where they will be matched up against the best of the best. The event has been an eye-opener for some prospects in the past and this year should be no different. "
In my travels over the last few years, I've learned a thing or two about what the college coaches are looking for," said Telep. He will share that knowledge in an effort to help these young prospects reach their full potential both on and off the court.
Telep closed our conversation by saying, "I think the event is really unique. I'm not sure there is another state in the country during the spring or any time, that the top talent in the state are gathered under one roof to play in a setting like the Carolina Challenge. There are a lot of things I do with basketball that are a lot of fun, but there won't be another day like this Saturday where I will have more fun."
Be sure to check out the event if you are in the area, for you will see a lot of future talent on display. Telep is giving back to North Carolina and it would be nice if the community turns out to support the event. The games tip off at 9:00. Did I mention that admission is "FREE?" See you there!