Boys Basketball

Panther Creek to host 2017 ACC Barnstorming Tour

Posted March 16

— Panther Creek High School will welcome a cast of Atlantic Coast Conference All-Stars and local high school basketball standouts on April 6 for the first stop of the 39th annual ACC Barnstorming Tour.

Seniors from Duke, NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest will highlights this year’s event and will be coached by Tar Heel legend Phil Ford.

“I really look forward to it. It’s an opportunity for me to meet some guys that I probably wouldn’t have a chance to meet and get to know them,” Ford said. “It’s not as intense as a real game, but it’s the same type of environment.”

Ford has been involved in the event in years past, including while he was a student-athlete in Chapel Hill.

“I’m a big fan, too,” Ford said. “I like going around the state and meeting different fans from different schools. It’s really enjoyable; I look forward to it each spring.”

The event will feature a game between the ACC-All Stars and local high school seniors and recent graduates from Wake County. Participants will also take part in a 3-point and dunk competition.

Duke seniors Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Nick Pagluica, NC State’s Chris Brickhouse, Terry Henderson and BeeJay Anya, UNC seniors Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt, Stillman White and Kanler Coker, and Wake Forest’s Trent VanHorn are all expected to participate.

ACC Barnstorming Tour Coordinator Pet Sumner said the event will feature some of the best talent in the area, but the flow of the event is more relaxed.

“We let the kids on the court some times and let them shoot free throws,” Sumner said. “It’s more of a [Harlem] Globetrotters experience. If you’re looking for a real All-Star game, this is not something to come to. They put on a show, but not a lot of defense is played.”

Sumner’s father, Michael, started the event while attending North Carolina with Ford in the 70s.

“I think he’s [Ford] one of the biggest draws; people love Phil,” Sumner said. “I’ve gotten real close with him over the past five years. He came to watch me play in college. I think the players really love it, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Panther Creek is the first of seven stops on the 2017 tour. The ACC All-Starts will also visit East Burke, North Wilkes, D.H. Conley, East Duplin, South Stokes and New Hanover in April. The event will open to the public at 6 p.m., and the game is slated to begin each night at 7:30 p.m.

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