The Basketball Coaches Association of New York is stepping up with a statewide basketball festival to take place of the Empire State Games, and tryouts for a Buffalo team will be held next week.
The BCANY Hoops Festival will be held in Johnson City (near Binghamton) from Aug. 5-7.
There will be eight regions represented (up from the ESG's traditional six) by boys and girls teams. Buffalo and Rochester will each have their own teams, along with Long Island, New York City, Central, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier and Capital District.
Check out more details here from the BCANY site.
The Buffalo boys team tryouts will be next week: Monday (June 6) and Thursday (June 9) from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary's. Depew coach Larry Jones will coach the Buffalo team (email LJones@Depew.wnyric.org or call 585-746-8327).
"Basically, the BCANY wanted to give kids that lost the chance with Empire Games being eliminated an opportunity to play in a format that would allow colleges to come see them all in one setting," said Jones.
One noteable stipulation for tryouts -- players must be nominated by their coach, and their coach must be a member of the BCANY. There are some coaches in WNY who are not members of the organization, which leads to their players missing out on honors given out by the BCANY. The group does a lot of good work for the sport in this state -- such as this event and Friday's free coaching clinic at Medaille -- and schools should encourage their coaches to become members.
You have to love how the BCANY has stepped up to create this event. There is definitely a "market" for this kind of statewide competition with the loss of the Empire Games. The BCANY has also picked a date later in the year as to avoid potential conflicts with national AAU tournaments, so that gives the hoopfest additional upside with the potential of including players that have traditionally been unavailable for the Empire Games. Buffalo and Rochester certainly have the talent pool to field their own teams, another nice touch.
We'll pass on details regarding the girls tryouts as soon as we get them.