Friday 18 Oct 2019


ACC Barnstorming Tour to Stop At Princeton High

By ANDREW STEVENS

PRINCETON – College basketball fans will have an opportunity to see some of their favorite players up close as the ACC Barnstorming Tour makes a stop at Princeton High School on Monday, April 15th.

In its 41st season, the ACC Barnstorming Tour features a team of ACC All-Stars competing against local high school players. This year’s roster includes North Carolina’s Luke Maye, Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson. N.C. State’s Torin Dorn and former Duke guard Nolan Smith are also on the squad.

Phil Ford

Former Carolina guard and All-American Phil Ford is the coach of the ACC All-Stars. Princeton is one of seven stops along this year’s tour.

“Barnstorming is something that’s been around since the 50s,” Ford said. “I did it after my senior year at North Carolina in 1978. When I did it, each school did their own. A buddy of mine that I was in school with, Mike Sumner, took over doing it my senior year in college, and has done it ever since. He came up with the idea of having all the schools combine, the seniors from North Carolina, N.C. State, Duke and Wake come together and play a team from the different high schools. That’s how we’ve been doing it since 1978, and I’ve been involved with it the last six or seven years.”

Along with the basketball game, fans can also anticipate a 3-point contest and a dunk contest. Players will be available following the game for a limited autograph session with general admission ticketholders. VIP ticketholders will enjoy reserved front row seating to the game, a post game reception with the ACC All-Stars, and a photo/autograph session. A portion of the proceeds from each game will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Additional proceeds will also benefit each hosting high school.

“You’ll have an opportunity to really get up close to the players,” Ford said. “After the game is over, everybody spreads out and you can walk up to the players and get an autograph, or ask them questions. Most people tell me how they’re impressed with how big the players are. You look at them on TV and they don’t look that big. Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, it’s just a fun, family outing and something that I think everyone will enjoy.”

Despite coaching a team largely comprised of players who are rivals on the court during the college basketball season, Ford also knows his players have developed friendships off the court. Whether those friendships are forged through pick up basketball games or in other ways, Ford knows cohesivness among his players is something he doesn’t have to worry about.

“I think there’s a mutual respect there as players that on the court you compete as hard as you can,” Ford said. “Once the game is over you respect that person, and you have a great friendship with that person. I think with the fans it’s a little different. I know the fans don’t see things that way.”

For the players representing Princeton, Ford acknowledges the opportunity to share the court with ACC players is one worth relishing.

“The referees get dressed in my locker room, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to win,” Ford joked. “The talent level is just so different. There’s just a huge gap. If you love basketball, that’s the thing you’re going to be impressed with. When you see the athleticism, and their skill set and their size, you’ll realize just how talented they are.”

For tickets and more information on the ACC Barnstorming Tour, visit carolinabarnstorming.com. Doors for the event open at 6 p.m., and the game begins at 7:30 p.m.

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