Rocket City Classic: College & High School Basketball- More Than A Sporting Event
HUNTSVILLE- Since its inception in 2016 when the Rocket City Classic was a one game event with Alabama defeating Arkansas State 67-52, the annual event has grown into a double-header and this year on Dec. 21 the Crimson Tide will face Belmont University in the second of two games after the UAH Chargers host Spring Hill College. Presented by Intrepid, the action tips off at noon with the second game set for 2:30 p.m. in the arena of the Von Braun Center. The second game will be televised on the SEC Network.
The teams will spend two days in the city of Huntsville surrounding their games for educational, community service and competition purposes. On Friday, Dec. 20, the Lift Up Day Community Charity Event will be held at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children from 2:30-3:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Dynetics benefitting Huntsville Hospital.
In addition to the already super day of excitement on the agenda, this will mark the first year of the Rocket City High School Showcase, presented by Metro T-Mobile, featuring four teams including Bob Jones. On Dec. 20 the double header will tip off at 6:00 p.m. as Mae Jemison will host Lee-Montgomery followed by Huntsville versus Bob Jones at 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be played in the VBC arena on the same floor as the Saturday college doubleheader.
“The players are excited about their chance to compete in the VBC,” said Luther Tiggs head coach of Bob Jones. “We have a veteran group of seniors that have really worked hard establishing the winning culture. Our season schedule has been brutal with very little time off and we have to be ready to compete every night we’re on the court.”
Alabama returns to the confines of the Von Braun Center and a homecoming of sorts for two players. John Petty (6-5, G, Jr.), who played at Mae Jemison, is scoring 15 points per game and pulling down 7.5 rebounds per outing. He’s second on the team and 13th in the Southeastern Conference in scoring and first on the team and ninth in the SEC in rebounding. Former Hazel Green star Kira Lewis (6-3, G, So.) is first on the team and fourth in the SEC in scoring with 19 points while he’s second on the Tide’s squad in rebounding with 5.3 per game.
Meanwhile, the UAH roster features three local players- Dalton Barkley (6-7, F, R-Sr.) from Bob Jones and both Calvin Walker (6-4, G, R-Fr.) and Luke Tomlinson (5-10, G, R-Fr.) of Madison Academy. Barkley is averaging 3.5 points and 3 rebounds in his average of 16 minutes of playing time per game. Both Walker and Tomlinson have seen limited playing time.
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster or at the VBC Box Office in downtown Huntsville.