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Beverly Hills

December 19, 2012

Roundball Classic set to invade Country Day for holiday tournament

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

BEVERLY HILLS — He shook his head in amazement, saying only, “It’s incredible.”

Frank Orlando stood in the auxiliary gym at Beverly Hills Country Day a few weeks back while his girls basketball team practiced. Asked how he liked to handle the approaching holiday break, he laid out his schedule for giving time off, practicing and, of course, taking part in the Motor City Roundball Classic.

“It’s crazy how big it is and the job they do with it,” Orlando said. “It’s quite the spectacle. Basketball games everywhere, all day. It’s pretty amazing.”

The 18th annual Roundball Classic is set to invade Country Day, beginning Dec. 26 and running through Dec. 30, with games starting as early as 11 a.m. and as late as 9 p.m. each day.

“It’s basically the largest tournament in the country for boys and girls of all caliber levels,” said Randy Williams, the event’s director. “I mean, if you look at other events like this, you don’t have small, large and medium schools all in the same place playing at the same time. … We aim to bring in every level of competition, allowing these kids to keep their minds and bodies busy during break.”

Williams said there are more than 100 boys and girls varsity teams scheduled to appear.

Country Day boys coach Kurt Keener, who assists in the Classic’s organization, said 92 schools will take part in the event, most of which hail from all parts of Michigan.

There are also a few teams from the Chicago area scheduled to play, along with two from Ohio and another team from Indiana.

“It really is something special,” Keener said. “This time of year, a lot of tournaments simply cater to the elite or high-level teams. We’re going to have just about every skill set here, with just about every age represented.”

Joining the 100-plus varsity teams is a collection of boys and girls junior varsity and freshmen squads.

All three gyms at Country Day will be in use, from sunup to sundown.

This is the fourth straight year Country Day has rented out its facilities for the Classic.

Williams wouldn’t specify the exact amount paid to use the campus but said it’s been the most advantageous location, given how many teams and people are expected to attend.

Past locations have included the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall, the University of Detroit Jesuit and Oakland University.

“I’ve loved working with Kurt and all the people at Country Day; they’ve been very loyal to us,” Williams said. “The facilities are great. It’s a wonderful community and the perfect place to host this many games at once.”

Admission is $10 per day, and once purchased, tickets are good for any location and any game that day.

Keener said some games in the past have been played in front of 2,000 spectators, depending on the teams involved.

“It’s an event where you’re going to see some real good basketball and good sportsmanship all day,” Williams added. “It’s something the community can come out and enjoy over the holidays. The people that put this on are great, and for $10 a day, you can’t find a better value.”

Here is a partial list of the local teams that will be competing in the Rouundball Classic at Country Day. In some cases, the boys and girls teams are competing. For a complete schedule, log onto to www.motorcityroundball.com.

Scheduled to compete are Harper Woods High, Harper Woods HEART Academy, Grosse Pointe University Liggett, Mount Clemens, Fraser High, Troy High, Southfield-Lathrup, Cass Tech, Detroit Denby, Royal Oak High, Warren Woods Tower, Chandler Park Academy, Country Day, Martin Luther King, Detroit Renaissance, Southfield Bradford Academy, Southfield High, Walled Lake Western, North Farmington, Grosse Pointe South, Royal Oak Shrine, Farmington Hills Harrison and Warren Cousino.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.