ACC basketball comes to Surry County tonight when the 36th-annual Barnstorming Tour stops at East Surry High School.
The ACC All-Stars, led by conference player of the year TJ Warren, will take on the Surry County All-Stars, with a roster of former players from high schools in Surry and Stokes counties.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door are $12 on a first-come, first-served basis. UNC legend Phil Ford will coach the ACC team and East Surry basketball coach Jason Anderson will coach the Surry County team.
Warren, an N.C. State star who recently announced his decision to enter this year’s NBA draft, is the biggest draw.
“Any time you get those guys in your gym playing a game it will be exciting,” Anderson said. “Some of the guys will be around the school visiting during the lunch time. They’ll be talking to kids about the importance of education.”
Four players have qualified for tonight’s 3-point contest, including East Surry standout Scott Meredith, and four for the slam dunk contest, including Surry Central star Zach Wilmoth.
The ACC lineup features players from N.C. State (Warren, Jordan Vandenburg), North Carolina (Leslie McDonald), Duke (Tyler Thornton, Josh Hairston), and Wake Forest (Travis McKie, Coron Williams). UNC senior Wade Moody, a former Mount Airy Granite Bear, is also on the ACC roster.
The Surry roster has players who graduated high school anywhere from 2004 to 2013. There are players who went to East Surry, Mount Airy, Surry Central, North Surry, North Stokes and West Stokes. Anderson said the team had an open gym Tuesday night, although some of the guys are still in college and won’t be home until today.
“All these guys are competitors. They want to come in and play well,” Anderson said. “At the same time, it will be a good time. A lot of these guys still play every time they get an opportunity.
“It’s just going to be fun all the way around. It’s fun coaching guys in that kind of atmosphere. (North Stokes head basketball coach) David Anderson is going to be helping me out.”
For ACC hoops fans, it’s a rare opportunity to see players up close. The 6-foot-8 Warren led the ACC in scoring this season as a sophomore and averaged 24.9 points per game. Next season, the best way to see Warren might be an NBA arena.
“It’s great event. This thing has been going on for 36 years,” Anderson said. “We had it at West Forsyth when I was a coach there and it was a lot of fun. Players try to get the crowd involved. It’s just a good up-close, personal experience with players you watch on television all the time. It’s a good opportunity to see all of them at one time in one spot. That does even happen during the college basketball season.
“If a college was to hold an event like this you are talking a $100 ticket.”