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Derby Festival Basketball Classic adds players

The Kentucky Derby Festival has added four new recruits to its line-up for next week’s 40thannual Basketball Classic presented by papajohns.com and Fifth Third Bank.

Those players include recent Kentucky Wildcats commitment and Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball, Dominique Hawkins (6-0 G Madison Central), as well as three other locals including Indiana Hoosiers signee Collin Hartman (6-6 F Indianapolis Cathedral), future Louisville Cardinals David Levitch (6-3 G North Oldham) and Dillon Avare (5-11 G Lexington Catholic).  With the addition of Hawkins, the event will now feature Mr. Basketball from the states of Kentucky and Indiana.  Zak Irvin received Mr. Basketball honors for Indiana last week.

“We always make a strong effort to have Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball play in the event. We considered expanding the rosters to 22, but we had the unique opportunity to include Dominique and three other local players who are headed to play at either IU or UofL,” explained Mike Gandolfo, the recruiting coordinator for the event.

Under Armour has also signed on as the new shoe and apparel sponsor of the game.  “I am excited about the newly formed partnership with the Kentucky Derby Festival and Under Armour.  This relationship allows us to be part of one of the best high school all-star games in the country, not to mention some of the top players across the United States,” said Chris Hightower, director of basketball marketing at Under Armour.

2013 will be the 40th year for the game.  First held in 1973, the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation. The game has featured such players as Jamal Mashburn, Rex Chapman, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Eric Bledsoe, Deron Williams and Nolan Smith, among many others.

The Basketball Classic is presented by papajohns.com and Fifth Third Bank, with Contributing Sponsors Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, Reebok, 99.7 DJX and B96.5 FM. Supporting Partner: The Rock. Media Partner: SLAM Magazine.

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