New this year – The Great Southern Bank Slam Dunk Contest – which was phenomenal. Bentonville’s 6’4″ junior Malik Monk wowed JQH Arena with four spectacular throw-downs to take the debut title…right after scoring 50-points in Bentonville’s loss to Chino Hills. Not to be outdone, Oak Hill’s 6’5″ senior Josh Reaves brought Springfield to its feet with several high-flying dunks that earned him second-place.
From a high school hoops program that brought you the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Rojon Rondo, Jerry Stackhouse and Kevin Durant, Josh will leave Oak Hill this Summer to suit up for Penn State – after being recruited by Georgetown, Maryland, Temple, Villanova and VCU. Only a junior, the future looks solid for Malik, who’s considering offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas and North Carolina.
2015 was Mark’s final year as Tournament Director. I can’t thank him enough for the countless hours he spent traveling, scouting, preparing, planning, negotiating – never losing sight of the fact that this amazing showcase of high school talent was ultimately an important fundraiser for Springfield Public Schools. I can’t thank him enough for his foresight, vision and willingness to embrace risk with a laugh and a smile. And selfishly, I can’t thank him enough for coming to see the Price is Right Live in Branson over three years ago. It’s been an honor to be a part of the tournament’s growth under Mark’s leadership, commitment to excellence, and passion for athletics. I wish him all the best in his future with Drury University.
If you’ve never been, the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions is more than three days of hoops…it’s a fun, family event during Missouri’s deep freeze. Mark your 2016 calendars now for the third week in January. Come have some fun with us, and see the future of the game in your own backyard!