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 Ticketmaster.com 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.