Without a McDonald’s All-American Game or Jordan Brand Classic scheduled for 2021, the Iverson Classic is now a can’t-miss event.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic, which first started in 2017, would take place in Memphis, TN from May 7-8, and two future Kentucky players will suit up as teammates: Daimion Collins and Nolan Hickman. Both class of 2021 prospects will play under head coach and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace, with another NBA veteran, Bonzi Wells, filling in as the team’s assistant. Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, co-hosts of the ALL THE SMOKE podcast and another pair of NBA veterans, will coach the opposing squad.
Collins and Hickman, who are ranked No. 11 and No. 31, respectively, according to 247 Sports, join a loaded list of the nation’s top-tier talent. Fellow five-star prospects Chet Holmgren, Michael Foster, and Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee) will play alongside Collins and Hickman while the opposite bench features the likes of current Kentucky target and four-star point guard TyTy Washington (recently de-committed from Creighton), along with five-stars Paolo Banchero (Duke), AJ Griffin (Duke), JD Davison (Alabama), Peyton Watson (UCLA), Hunter Sallis (Gonzaga), and the first-ever female player ever added to the boy’s roster, five-star point guard Raven Johnson.
For those unfamiliar with Johnson, she is a current South Carolina commit and was at one point considering joining the Kentucky Wildcats. She was named the 2021 Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year and has won four consecutive state championships during her high school career.
All three of the McDonald’s, Jordan, and Iverson games were canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020 and only the Iverson Classic will hold the event this year. And while there won’t be an actual McDonald’s All-American Game, Collins and Hickman were both named to the rosters.
“We fought hard to ensure this event could happen and that it could happen safely for these young athletes,” said Iverson Classic Co-Founder Bobby “Bo” Bates Jr. about the decision to organize the game this year. “Every single one of them deserved this opportunity and we stepped up to ensure that they got it.” — Iverson Classic.
The first night of action, Friday, May 7, will include a dunk contest, a 3-on-3 game, and more, while the All-Star game itself is slated for Saturday, May 8.