The Scott Brown Memorial Classic will be played. The exact date is still up in the air.
The annual high school basketball all-star game is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. But with the ongoing threat of the spread of the novel coronavirus, that date is in high doubt.
Tournament director Bob Bolen hasn't quite given up on the event going on as scheduled, but pledged to put everyone's safety at the forefront. President Donald Trump set forth guidelines on Monday, including avoiding public gatherings of more than 10 people for a tentative period of 15 days, which would carry to April 1. While that is a suggestion and not mandatory, Bolen stressed health and safety will guide all decisions.
"The No. 1 concern right now is the health of our country," he said. "After all that is taken care of, we will have the Scott Brown Classic at the appropriate time."
The threat of COVID-19 has crippled the sports world. Close to home, the high school girls basketball state tournament was halted after the Thursday early session and all Class AA boys regional games that night were postponed. Both events hang in limbo.
Schools are closed through at least March 27, and spring sports and all other extracurricular activities have been suspended through at least April 10.
"We are prepared to move the date," Bolen said. "We have not officially postponed it. We are not canceling it."
This year's event will be the 31st edition, but Bolen said there might be a different format. In years past, Class A all-stars have faced Class AA all-stars and Class AAA all-stars have taken on a national team comprised largely of Division I signees and commits.
With the possible cancellation of the state tournament, that might change. Bolen says he and the tournament committee are making plans to make it a special weekend.
"I feel for the University kids. They were the favorites in triple-A. Something will be done where they are acknowledged," Bolen said. "I feel for the Chapmanville kids. They are the No. 1 seed (in Class AA), chance to (win a third straight state championship). Obviously we will do something where those kids are showcased. Locally, I really feel for the Shady (Spring) kids. Obviously they will be showcased. I don't want to release it yet, but we'll do something different and it will be exciting for the fans.
"If the student-athletes are not able to participate in the state tournament, even though we cannot provide an event as meaningful as that, we plan on doing something to recognize the seniors for their accomplishments."
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