Future Cat, Cards, Hoosiers’ stand out at basketball classic

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A crowd of 4,812 was on hand Saturday at Freedom Hall as Team Lightning defeated Team Thunder 122-109 in the 44th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (University of Kentucky) was named Team Lightning MVP. Western Kentucky University signee Taveion Hollingsworth was named MVP of Team Thunder. Xavier signee Naji Marshall was named the “Fan Favorite” in online voting by fans and spectators at the game.

This year’s game featured top rated recruits from the nation’s top college basketball programs, including University of Louisville signees Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Jordan Nwora; UK signee Shai Gilgeous-Alex- ander; and Indiana University signees Justin Smith and Alja- mi Durham. At halftime, it was announced that the team of Chuma Okeke (Auburn signee) and Taveion Hollings-worth (Western Kentucky University signee) won Friday night’s 2-on-2 finals at Indiana University Southeast Activities Building during the Horseshoe Foundation Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars.

“Tonight’s crowd got a sneak peek at players who will become household names among basketball fans over the next few years,” said Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry. “It was another great game with outstanding talent.”

The finals for these competitions were held at halftime of Saturday’s game.

First held in 1973, the Der-by Festival Basketball Classic is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation. The game has featured such players as Jamal Mashburn, Rex Chapman, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Eric Bledsoe, Deron Williams and Nolan Smith, among many others. n