William Avery will watch Aquinas’ Ahmed Hill play every chance he gets. Same goes for the Josey and Glenn Hills teams, with the Spartans still undefeated.
This Saturday, he won’t have to leave one gym to watch them all.
The second William Avery Invitational will be held at Augusta State, where a collection of some of the area’s best boys basketball teams will play against big-name foes. Tickets are $7 at the door or $5 if purchased in advance at one of the participating schools.
Avery hopes the day will help encourage people to see Augusta as a place to watch elite basketball prospects and also as a place where athletes can get noticed.
“You always hear people throw the word ‘exposure.’ When you hear that, you think you have to go somewhere else to get it,” he said. “But that’s not necessarily the case. You have to work and put together the right event. That’s what I’ve been doing. They say, ‘The best is yet to come,’ and this is just the start of it.”
The invitational and Monday’s MLK Hardwood Classic at Evans, which features Aquinas vs. Laney as the scheduled headliner, are two events Avery hopes will increase Augusta’s status in the high school basketball world.
Last year, Avery said his event conflicted with middle school and JV championships. So he was prepared for that this year, he said.
When trying to get this year’s field together, Avery, an Augusta native who played at Duke and in the NBA, wanted Augusta’s finest to go up against the best possible talent. Glenn Hills’ opponent, Stephenson, might be a slight disappointment this year, but the Class AAAAA school is coming off an appearance in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
Although Saturday’s games occur during the region season, Avery is pleased
about the participating teams.
“It’s tough to put it together, but I’ve been working my butt off and it looks like a pretty good lineup,” he said.