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Charlotte Hoops Challenge returns for its 13th year

Charlotte Hoops Challenge
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High school basketball will soon be back in action in North Carolina as the Charlotte Hoops Challenge tournament returns for its 13th year on Nov. 25 - 26 at Harding University High School.

The CHC was established in 2010 by now retired South Mecklenburg High School girls' basketball coach Cristie Mitchell and current Harding University High School Athletic Director O. Jermaine Walker, who has 25 years of experience coaching high school and AAU basketball.

According to the event's organizers, the tournament is the only nationally recognized Thanksgiving tournament in North Carolina and attracts hundreds of college coaches, scouts and media. In addition, organizers say that many players have received scholarship offers at the event.

This year's two-day tournament will feature several girls' and boys' basketball teams from Jay M. Robinson, Myers Park, South Mecklenburg and East Mecklenburg high schools, Providence Day School, Concord Academy, Charlotte Latin and many others.

It will be a chance for high school basketball fans to see some of the best talents in the state. Players expected to participate include combo-guard Silas Demary, Jr. (Combine Academy), Mekhi Grant (Combine Academy), center Riley Allenspach (Providence Day School), guard Reese Wilson (Myers Park) and forward Tatum Bowen (1 of 1 Prep).

The tournament has received national recognition as one of the top 10 high school basketball events held in the country by MaxPreps and ESPN.

The event has also provided for the surrounding communities and given back to the game of basketball among other charitable endeavors. According to their website, over the past 13 years, the CHC has donated money to Samaritan's Feet, collected bottled water and canned food for flood victims in Columbia, South Carolina, helped AAU teams to go to Nationals, helped kids go to camps that they could not afford to attend, supported grassroots basketball programs, given scholarship money to a deserving senior for college and sponsored a free coaches' clinic.

Over the years, the tournament has featured many hoops stars including current professional players such as Andrew Wiggins (NBA/Golden State Warriors), Joel Embiid (NBA/Philadelphia 76ers), Grant Williams (NBA/Boston Celtics), Bam Adebayo (NBA/Miami Heat), Jamal Murray (NBA/Denver Nuggets), Maya Caldwell (WNBA/Atlanta Dream), A'ja Wilson (WNBA/Las Vegas Aces) and Stephanie Watts (WNBA/Chicago Sky) to name a few.

Back in the tournament's second year current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan made an appearance as a fan to see his nephew Justin Jordan who played for Davidson Day School.

You can find more information about the tournament at charlottehoopschallenge.com.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.