Twenty-four of the nation’s top high school boys’ basketball players will participate in game action and a dunking competition on ESPNU August 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. ET in the Under Armour Elite 24. The event began at famed Rucker Park in Harlem in 2006 and will return to Venice Beach outdoor courts in Los Angeles for its third consecutive year in late August. Under Armour is the title sponsor of this year’s event.
“The Under Armour Elite 24 features the nation’s best young talent and serves as a great platform for them to learn how to compete and what it takes to excel at the next level,” said Matt Mirchin, Senior Vice President, Global Sports Marketing and Brand, Under Armour. “These great athletes are putting in work every day on courts across the country. Our title sponsorship of the Elite 24 is a reflection of our commitment to helping them get better. ”
The event drew an overflow crowd of over 2,500 in 2011 when Marques Johnson Squad defeated the Raymond Lewis Squad, 142-132. Each squad, in the tradition of the event, is named after local playground legends. The two 12-man teams consist of high school players selected by basketball experts from ESPN College Basketball Recruiting. Experts base their opinions on performances at AAU tournaments and national summer camps.
The 2011 MVPs from the winning Marques Johnson team included: UCLA recruit Kyle Anderson of St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.), finishing with 18 points and eight assists, and Virginia recruit Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian (Portland, Ore.), finishing with 23 points.
Shabazz Muhammad of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), also headed to UCLA, and Aquille Carr of Patterson (Baltimore, Md.) were named MVPs of the “Ray Lew” team.
Muhammad, the No. 2 player in the 2012 ESPN 100, played in the event two years in a row. No. 1 player Nerlens Noel of Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.) also suited up last year for the victorious Marques Johnson squad.
Prominent alumni through the event’s first six years include:
- NBA All-Star Kevin Love (Timberwolves)
- 2010 No. 1 NBA Draft pick John Wall (Wizards)
- 2011 NCAA Final Four MOP Kemba Walker (Connecticut)
- Two alumni were named NBA Rookie of the Year: The No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA Draft, 2012 honoree Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and the 2010 honoree Tyreke Evans (Kings)
- Alums Bradley Beal (Florida), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Terrence Jones (Kentucky), Austin Rivers (Duke) and Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) are expected to be high picks in this year’s NBA Draft
The 2012 roster will be announced at a later date.
The elite boys’ basketball event is part of more than 40 hours of high school content airing across ESPN networks the weekend of August 24-26. Programming will be highlighted with the Elite 24 and 13 ESPN High School Football Kickoff games.
The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 600 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in over 73 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNUHD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.