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Chicagoland Summer Showcase returns to Rockford

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 8:05 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Some of the best high school basketball teams in the Midwest return to Rockford for the second Chicagoland Summer Showcase this weekend.

After having to cancel basically all events and put a pause on college recruiting due to the pandemic, Rockford will once again be the premiere destination for basketball players to get an in-person look from coaches.

Rockford Public Schools will host the showcase again, this time downtown at the UW Health Sports Factory. 52 teams from five different states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio) will compete over the next three days. Each team is guaranteed four games with pool play and a tournament-style to determine champions in the small school and large school divisions.

Mat Parker, RPS 205 Director of Athletics, says 38 scholarships were handed out at the same event in 2019. This year, more than 50 college coaches from Division 1 down to junior college have already signed up, with that number expected to double. Parker says it was important to bring the event back to Rockford.

“It was too important of an event not to start planning for (a month ago),” explained Paker. “If we needed to host it within our COVID region, and that was it, that it would benefit the kids and the programs locally and that it would be worth it. So, that’s really where the initial planning stages started. As things opened up, and as more teams in Illinois and out of state were permitted, we were able to turn this into, what looks to be shaping up to a great event.”

It’s one of two NCAA live events taking place in Illinois and 20 nationwide this weekend. Parker says the Sports Factory provides the perfect setting.

“Playing in games on courts next to each other, so (coaches) can evaluate multiple courts at a time with their coaching staff. That’s something we put as a priority when we schedule, to make sure coaches are going to have the best evaluation period. Which in turn, is going to benefit our students and their families when they do receive offers for college scholarships.”

General admission tickets are available at the door the day of the event for $10. Children five and under are free.

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