BENTON - The national success of Marshall County's Hoopfest is well known and not un-noticed on officials at the new McCracken County High School which prompted them to reach out to Marshall County's Special Events Coordinator, Dan Hudson, wanting to do a big event such as the Hoopfest to kick off the first year of their new school.
"They are wanting to do a big event and sought us out for information on the Hoopfest", Hudson said. "What better way to do that than to seek out a school locally that has such a successful event as the Hoopfest."
Thus, a partnership has been formed and Marshall County will partner with McCracken County for what may be the first of many Hoopfest events sponsored by the two school systems.
McCracken County's Hoopfest will take place January 10-11, 2014 while the Marshall County Hoopfest will remain in December with the 2013 Hoopfest set for December 6-7.
According to Hudson, the Marshall County slat of teams is close to being set with Huntington Prep committing to both the Marshall and McCracken Hoopfests. Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford is already grooming his next star in Montaque Gill-Caesar, the current 6'5" sophomore who plays in the shadow of this year's Hoopfest favorite Andrew Wiggins. Gill-Caesar is also a product of Canada, moving to West Virginia this season and reportedly already has offers on the table from Ohio State, West Virginia and Central Florida with interest from Kentucky and Baylor.
The 2012 Hoopfest has proven to be the all-time most successful according to Hudson, who said the cost to put on the event is approximately $86,000. The December 2012 Hoopfest raised $60,880 in sponsorship money which Hudson says we could never do it without our sponsors. Sixteen different school athletic teams and clubs brought in $39,765 in profits and that combined with the school's profit of $36,000 brought in over $75,000.
Not only does the school profit, but the community as a whole, as an intake of approximate 1.6 million has been estimated by the Marshall County Tourism office.
Chris Garrett is the new McCracken County High School Athletic Director and just yesterday made the announcement of their new basketball coaches with Burlin Brower of Heath getting the boy's job and Lone Oak's Josh Barnett named the new girl's head coach.