Stars shine at Dayton Shootout

By Jim Dabbelt

Every year, my goal is to host a better Dayton Shootout event than the year before, and it is safe to say, last weekend at Bethel High School was clearly the best one yet.

Not only did I expand from the normal 80 kids to 90 this year, but the group of trainers, live stream and on-demand games, and atmosphere clearly separated this event from others of its kind.

Several people made this event successful, and it all starts with the 90 players and parents who decided to attend the 2018 event. I was excited that we had a different mix of talent. I would say there were likely 10-15 kids who will get serious looks at the D1 level, and many many more who will get to play at the next level.

Huge thanks to the parents for trusting in me to help promote their kids, and allowing them to participate in this event. I thought it went off very smoothly and there were no major issues throughout the day.

Of course, I have to give a big shoutout to coaches Corey and Chad at Bethel High School. Your wonderful facility was a great host to this event that has grown into such a can’t-miss event for the serious players. I was so thankful to have players from the 2019 class down through the 2023 class. There were even a few players who have already committed who were still there, which shows me what kind of player and person they are. With nothing to prove, they still gave up a day and played to get better.

To the college coaches who either attended in person or are evaluating via live stream or on-demand, a huge thank you! In a world where every event operator looks to overcharge you for everything, I was very happy to provide everything to you at no charge. After all, the kids were there to not only get better, but draw some of your interest.

Two key scouting services were there, and I was thankful to have OGBR and Premier Deluxe Scouting Service in the house. Your presence was very appreciated, and I will not forget that you supported my event and the kids.

I want to send a huge thanks to four special ladies who made this event run smoothly. Lauren Hapgood and Kyndall Ketterer both were very instrumental in running the clocks, and two former Dayton Shootout alumni and Top 100 players Mandi Bates and Marin Reis both were key to register kids and get them going in the morning. I appreciate all of you!!

Two longtime friends Rick and Andrea Gifford were there all the way from Clinton County to help out, and she is another former player in the event from a long time ago. It is so amazing when former players ask to come back and help out. I even had a player yesterday who asked to come back and help when her playing days are over. That is humbling.

The trainers were second to none. I had several kids tell me they have never been to an event where the training was anything like this. And these were kids who have been to numerous events across Ohio. We had 4 former Ohio State Buckeyes (who all played professionally) who spent the morning making the kids better. Having the recognition of former players who played professionally was invaluable. Thanks to my good friends Brandie Hoskins, D’wan Shackleford Vickroy, Terrance Dials and Katie Smith who combined to provide confidence and improvement for each kid. You four are legends, and the girls looked up to you and your successes!

Katie was obviously a huge attraction coming into Dayton one week after being inducted into the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame. It would be like having Michael, Kobe or LeBron work a boys camp.

It was great to have Richard Quisenberry, Travis Trice and Bianca Quisenberry there to represent Golden Recruit, who provided a lot of good advice to the parents regarding the recruiting process for their kids. Bianca of course was a former Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year winner, another bigtime name in the building.

Thank you to Kevin Forrer, who held their officials training camp once again at the Dayton Shootout. It was great to see another of the legendary officials Bob Juliano as one of the instructors for the camp. Great job by Kevin’s staff as we try to continue to get some quality officials in Ohio!

JJ’s Lunchbox handled the hospitality room, and everyone enjoyed the spread that was there. The strawberry pie is second to none, and the room was packed with coaches, VIP’s and staff throughout the day. Thanks Jason!

It was great to see several AAU and high school coaches in attendance. Your support to me means more than I can ever say. Two of the longtime AAU coaches who I have been honored to work with and know for 30 years is Tuck Conner and John Coffee. Both are so supportive and appreciated. On a side note, Tuck was Katie Smith’s AAU coach from back in the early 90s, so it was truly a historic day having them together at this event. The Dayton Lady Hoopstars, who has always sent their top players to my events, did the same this year. Having Matt Madges, Christian Salazar and Ceslie Shellhaas there was so great, and very appreciated!!

Speaking of Ceslie, she was one of the evaluators who helped me put together a breakdown of the kids games. In addition to her, I was so happy to have Nick Moore there who has coached D1 college basketball to help evaluate, along with three former players who played at the collegiate level: Shelby Maloney, Katelyn Haralamos and Quisenberry.

The media had their presence there, and I am glad to have them help me raise the awareness of the talent in the area. Thanks to She Got Next out of Columbus who did a great job with photos and videos. It was also great to have Doug Brown from Gem City Sports Network stop by to get some interviews with a couple of the former Buckeyes for our pre-season radio show. Also thanks to Jeff and Carla Ungerecht who came out to get photos for three area newspapers. As a fellow media member, I was very conscious as to who was there, and who was not.

I was very happy to be able to livestream the event to college coaches all across the country. We will be posting them also on-demand for later viewing when they are broken down. Thanks to Kaleb and Kevin for providing the stream and commentary on the games. I truly believe that live streaming will be the way it all will eventually be going soon, especially since the colleges and NCAA are tired of the outrageous prices they are being charges by many of these national events.

Finally, the shirts. Dean always comes through for me. The design and logo of the shirt was very well received. Ohio girls’ basketball will take a backseat to nobody when it comes to talent. I have said for years the Dayton area has the most collective talent around Ohio. It showed yesterday with the collective talent in the building.

I was asked a couple of times how in the world will I be able to top this event with the 2019 Dayton Shootout?

My reply was simple…..I really don’t know.