To fill the void left by the end of the Empire State Games, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York set up another showcase, the Summer Hoops Fest, which has quickly turned into a marquee event on the high school sports calendar.
And it will be again on Aug. 2-4, when the third edition of the Summer Hoops Fest takes place at Johnson City, near Binghamton, with local high school basketball stars well-represented on both the boys and girls sides.
Erik Saroney, who coached Henninger to the Section III Class AA championship last winter, is leading the boys Central Region team, assisted by Liverpool’s Matt Jacob and Tully’s Ryan Dando, plus Black Knights assistant Jason Dudzinski.
The boys team was culled from an original group of 75 that tried out in Syracuse, Utica and Watertown, leading to a final tryout of 30, from which 12 were ultimately selected.
That included two of Saroney’s Henninger standouts, point guard Romero Collier and forward Marquane Silvers, and two from 2013 state Class A final four participant Bishop Ludden – forwards Zach Walser and Jack Rauch.
Jordan Roland, off a sophomore season where he led Westhill back to the state Class B final four in Glens Falls, made the team, as did Fayetteville-Manlius star John Schurman, West Genesee center Shane Temara and East Syracuse-Minoa forward Sean Richardson.
J’Von Evans (Utica Proctor), Stewart Wright (Fabius-Pompey) and Henry Sullivan (Nottingham) also made the team, Evans and Wright as guards, Sullivan as a forward.
For the girls edition of the Summer Hoops Fest, Nottingham’s Randy Wright was selected to coach a team chosen from 40 that tried out. Perhaps the best player is Utica-Notre Dame’s Emily Durr, who led the Juggers to the Section III Class B title in 2012-13 and has a verbal commitment to Iowa State.