Derby Classic tickets on sale; Event set for April 19

 Posted by at 5:43 PM on January 9, 2013
Jan 092013

UK signee Derek Willis is among the players that could be invited to the Derby Festival Classic in April.
Photo: Jonathan Palmer

Tickets went on sale Wednesday for the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, which will be played April 19 at Freedom Hall in Louisville.

The event, which is in its 40th year, aims to bring some of the country’s top high school basketball seniors to Kentucky. Last year’s game included four McDonald’s All-Americans, including now-Duke freshman Amile Jefferson, who at the time was a UK recruit.

A rule excluding high school players from playing in more than two post-season all-star events has hurt the Derby Classic’s ability to get UK signees and commitments in recent years. The McDonald’s All-American Game and Jordan Brand Classic get their pick of the litter each year. The recently created All-American Championship, which is played at the site of the Final Four, has also drawn UK recruits. Nerlens Noel and Willie-Cauley Stein played in that game last year.

Bullitt East standout Derek Willis and California big man Marcus Lee seem the most likely players from among UK’s signees to play in this year’s Derby Classic. The event could also compete for UK target Julius Randle, who is not eligible for the McDonald’s game because he did not play in enough of his team’s games this season. Randle is still recovering from a broken foot and it’s uncertain whether he’ll be healthy for the all-star season.

Tickets for the Derby Festival Classic can be purchased via or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets cost $11 and $16, including a $1 facility fee.

The Derby Classic has been around since 1973 and has featured Jamal Mashburn, Moses Malone, Rex Chapman, Pervis Ellison, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Darrell Griffith and Penny Hardaway.


  3 Responses to “Derby Classic tickets on sale; Event set for April 19”

  1. So are you assuming Lee won’t play in the McDonald’s game ?

  2. Jerome — There is a good chance Lee plays in that game. But he’s not a shoo-in to be in the McD’s and Jordan games, as the Harrisons, Young and Johnson seem to be. Still, wouldn’t be surprised if Lee is invited to both.


  3. This is a great event. Very underrated. What hurt last year was having the Nike Hoops Summit on the same weekend. Luckily Steven Adams chose to play in the Derby but Nerlens Noel, Mitch McGary, and Kaleb Tarczewski played in the Summit. This 2013 class is stacked and the roster should be a good one.

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