Central to Host Hoops Tournament

Friendly City Shootout Set for This Weekend at WJU

Fresh off a West Virginia Class A state championship, the Wheeling Central boys’ basketball team will play host to the second Friendly City Shootout on Saturday and Sunday at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The Friendly City Shootout brings high school basketball teams from all over the tri-state area to Wheeling and allows teams to play other teams they typically wouldn’t get to play during summer basketball or the regular season.

This year the event will have four West Virginia State Tournament qualifiers in Wheeling Central, Trinity Christian, Greater Beckley Christian and Winfield, along with Class AAA power Parkersburg and a pair of strong Pennsylvania teams in Seton LaSalle and Burgettstown.

“We are really excited for this year’s shootout,” tournament director Lance Bibey said. “Last year was super competitive and we’re looking to keep this thing going strong year after year. It’s sometimes tough to get enough kids to play basketball with their high school teams in the summer with vacations and other summer sports, but we had such great reviews from last year that teams had their calendars marked for this year.

“We have six out of town teams coming in to stay in Wheeling. The teams and their families will get to experience all the amazing amenities Wheeling has to offer.

“We really want to be different than your typical shootout or summer tournament. Last year we had WVU basketball standout Nathan Adrian as a guest speaker and this year we have Dave Wojcik.”

Wojcik, a former two-time Wheeling Central state championship and Division 1 college coach, will be speaking to parents and players on what college coaches are looking for in “recruitable players” and the entire recruiting process.

“These players, coaches and parents are going to love Coach Woj and his message,” Bibey said. “Anytime you’re able to listen to a successful person on how to get to the next level it’s truly invaluable.”

Each team is guaranteed five games and will stay overnight on Wheeling Jesuit’s campus. A tournament winner will be crowned on Sunday. Last year’s winner George Washington defeated Wheeling Central in the championship game. The Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau is providing each team with a welcome package to showcase local events, parks, shopping and restaurants.

“None of this would be possible without the support of our numerous sponsors who believe in and continue to support the program. We cannot thank them enough,” Bibey said.