UK Men's Basketball

Marshall County Hoop Fest will feature some of UK’s top basketball recruiting targets

Keldon Johnson is one of UK’s top targets in the class of 2018.
Keldon Johnson is one of UK’s top targets in the class of 2018.

This year’s Marshall County Hoop Fest will, once again, bring several of the nation’s top basketball recruits to western Kentucky.

The Hoop Fest lineup for this season was released Tuesday and features major UK targets such as Keldon Johnson, James Wiseman and D.J. Jeffries, as well as several other five-star prospects from around the country.

The event will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 2 with a bonus lineup of games on Sunday, Dec. 3 that features Wiseman and Memphis East (Tenn.) against Charles Bassey and Louisville’s Aspire Academy in a matchup of two of the top three juniors in the country.

Tickets are $10 per session or $35 for the first four sessions (Nov. 30-Dec. 2). Tickets for the games on Dec. 3 are also $10 for the entire session, but those games are not included in the all-session pass. All tickets can be purchased by calling the Marshall County athletics office at 270-527-6714.

All games will be played at Marshall County High School.

Johnson — a 6-foot-6 shooting guard for Oak Hill Academy (Va.) — is the biggest immediate target on UK’s radar at this year’s Hoop Fest, and he’ll lead the Warriors against Hamilton Heights (Tenn.) on Friday and Tennessee Prep on Saturday.

Kentucky is viewed as the favorite in Johnson’s recruitment, and ESPN ranks him as the No. 7 overall player in the 2018 class. He is also considering Maryland, North Carolina State and Texas and should have a college decision before the Hoop Fest.

Oak Hill’s star-studded roster this season also includes highly touted Kansas commitment David McCormack.

Wiseman — a 6-11 power forward from Nashville — has transferred to Memphis East (coached by Penny Hardaway) this season and is arguably UK’s No. 1 target in the 2019 class. ranks him as the No. 1 overall player in that class, and the Wildcats are the early favorites in his recruitment.

He’ll go up against 6-10 center Bassey, the No. 3 junior in the 247Sports composite rankings. Bassey is the top prospect for Aspire Academy, a prep school now based in Louisville.

The Saturday night slate at this year’s Hoop Fest will feature a game pitting Zion Harmon and Adair County against Jeffries and visiting Olive Branch (Miss.).

Harmon — a 5-9 guard — has visited UK twice in the past few weeks and helped lead Bowling Green to the state title as an eighth-grader last season.

Jeffries — a 6-7 small forward — was the second player from the 2019 class to earn a UK scholarship offer and visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness earlier this month. He’s the No. 15 junior in the 247Sports composite rankings.

Huntington Prep sophomore Jaemyn Brakefield also visited UK for Big Blue Madness and will play Hoop Fest games on Friday and Saturday.

The lineup also includes five-star Prolific Prep (Calif.) senior forward Jordan Brown, five-star St. Benedict’s (N.J.) junior forward Precious Achiuwa and the always talented Findlay Prep (Nev.) Pilots, this year led by Spencer Washington, the younger brother of UK freshman PJ Washington.

Other Kentucky teams involved in this year’s Hoop Fest are Adair County, Bowling Green, Graves County, Henderson County, Hopkinsville, Lexington Catholic, Marshall County, McCracken County, Murray and University Heights.

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 (Session 1)

4 p.m. Massac County (Ill.) vs. Marshall County (Girls)

5:30 p.m. Massac County (Ill.) vs. Marshall County

7 p.m. University Heights vs. Graves County

8:30 p.m. Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. Victory Rock (Fla.)

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 (Session 2)

4 p.m. Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. Hamilton Heights, (Tenn.)

5:30 p.m. Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) vs. Findlay Prep (Nev.)

7 p.m. Prolific Prep (Calif.) vs. Tennessee Prep (Tenn.)

8:30 p.m. Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. St. Benedict’s (N.J.)

10 p.m. Hillcrest Prep (Az.) vs. Victory Rock (Fla.)

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 (Session 3)

9 a.m. Carterville (Ill.) vs. Marshall County (Girls)

10:30 a.m. Riverdale (Tenn.) vs. Mercer County (Girls)

Noon Columbus (Miss.) vs. Curie (Ill.)

1:30 p.m. Findlay Prep (Nev.) vs. Aspire Academy

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 (Session 4)

3:45 p.m. Hillcrest Prep (Ariz.) vs. St. Benedict’s (N.J.)

5:15 p.m. Prolific Prep (Calif.) vs. Huntington Prep (W.Va.)

6:45 p.m. Lexington Catholic vs. Marshall County

8:15 p.m. Adair County vs. Olive Branch (Miss.)

9:45 p.m. Tennessee Prep (Tenn.) vs. Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

Sunday, Dec. 3 (Session 5)

Noon Orangeville Prep (Can.) vs. Word of God (N.C.)

1:30 p.m. Aspire Academy vs. Memphis East (Tenn.)

3 p.m. Murray vs. Tennessee Prep (Tenn.) (Girls)

4:30 p.m. Hopkinsville vs. Bowling Green

6 p.m. McCracken County vs. Henderson County

(all times Central)