Kentucky signees GJ Vilarino, Jon Hood and Daniel Orton are among 20 players included on the 2009 Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic rosters, announced today by new game sponsors Wazoo Sports and Papa John's.
The DFC is scheduled to be played Saturday, April 11, at Freedom Hall in Louisville. Organizers expect a full roster of 24 players to be finalized soon, but confirmed commitments currently include three McDonald's All-Americans, four Louisville recruits, three Kentucky recruits and three Indiana recruits.
Ten of the players on the roster are ranked among the Top 50 nationally by Rivals.com. The players will also participate in the Wazoo Sports Night of Future Stars on Friday, April 10, at Bellarmine University's Knights Hall.
Orton is a 6-foot-10, 260-pound center from Oklahoma City ranked No. 22 in the Class of 2009 by Rivals.com. He missed his senior season due to a knee injury, but is reportedly doing well in rehab and will return to running soon. It is unclear whether he'll be physically able to compete in the DFC.
Hood is a 6-foot-6 swingman from Madisonville (Ky.) North-Hopkins who averaged 28.5 points and 12 rebounds as a senior. He was also affected by the injury bug recently, being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot, so his status is also unclear for the game.
Vilarino is a 6-foot point guard from McKinney, Texas, who was Billy Gillispie's first official recruit at UK. He has been committed to the Wildcats since April of 2007. As a senior, he averaged close to 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
Wazoo Sports, a high school sports broadcast network with offices in London, Ky., Knoxville, Tenn., and Benton, Ky., is the new title sponsor of the Derby Festival Basketball Classic. The new presenting sponsor for the game is papajohns.com. Contributing sponsors are: adidas, Delta Air Lines and 99.7 DJX.
"One of my most memorable games as a basketball player was during the 1993 Derby Festival Basketball Classic," said Jeff Sheppard, Director of Sales for Wazoo Sports. "Now it's equally exciting to again play a part in the Basketball Classic. Wazoo Sports will provide the ultimate level of exposure for the fans, athletes and sponsors with the online coverage of the game."
Admission to the Wazoo Sports Night of Future Stars is free with a ticket to the DFC. Some of the event's most exciting moments have occurred during the Slam Dunk, 2-on-2 and 3-Point Shooting competitions. There will also be a one-hour autograph-signing session following the event.
On sale now, DFC tickets are $17 and $12 and are available at TicketMaster locations (www.ticketmaster.com), the Freedom Hall Ticket Office, or by phone (502) 361-3100 or (800) 487-1212.
First held in 1973, the DFC is the second-oldest continuously-held high school all-star game in the nation. Twelve players who have participated in the Derby Classic were selected in the 2008 NBA Draft, including Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, D.J. Augustin, Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez and Anthony Randolph.
2009 Wazoo Sports Derby Festival Basketball Classic Participants: * Full split rosters to be announced soon
Player College Ht/Wt Position Awards Tyler Griffey Illinois 6' 8"/230 F Jon Hood Kentucky 6' 6"/190 G Jordan Hulls Indiana 6' 0"/170 G Lakeem Jackson South Carolina 6' 5"/220 F Rakeem Jamal Buckles Louisville 6' 8"/203 F Brendan Lane UCLA 6' 9"/205 F Peyton Siva Louisville 6' 0"/165 G McDonald's All-American Stephan Van Treese Louisville 6' 9"/225 F GJ Vilarino Kentucky 6' 1"/175 G Raymond Penn Oklahoma St 5' 9"/150 PG Elijah Johnson Kansas 6' 2"/183 G Lorenzo Brown NC State 6' 4"/175 G Noel Johnson USC 6' 7"/180 F Daniel Orton Kentucky 6' 10"/260 C Maurice Creek Indiana 6' 5" /200 G Michael Snaer Florida State 6' 4"/185 G McDonald's All-American Maalik Wayns Villanova 6' 1"/190 G McDonald's All-American Christian Watford Indiana 6' 8"/215 F Erik Murphy Florida 6' 10"/220 PF Mike Marra Louisville 6' 4"/200 SG