PSN Spotlight - GBCA Live Events Return For Summer 2021
The impact of COVID-19 on high school sports was felt by student athletes and coaches alike all throughout the country. From seasons abruptly ending in the spring of 2020 to no summer activities to the NCAA recruiting dead period lasting through June of this year. Now, as the things around the country slowly begin to resume to normal, high school sports has seen the return of summer activities including the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association Live Events, two weekends that allow college coaches and recruiters to watch top high school players compete with their teams in person.
The GBCA Live Events kicked off in 2019 held at multiple high schools around the metro Atlanta area, but after the event was sidelined in 2020 due to COVID-19, its 2021 return is taking place at the LakePoint sports complex and the 15 court setting was a very welcomed one because college coaches and recruiters had one central location to see hundreds of recruits in action and as Langston Hughes boys basketball head coach, Rory Welsh, and many other coaches put it, “it’s been exciting for everybody”.
Welsh, who is also a member of the GBCA, also spoke on how impactful the GBCA Live Events are for the student athletes and why it’s return is so important. “It’s a big time privilege to be able to play in an event like this where guys are able to display their talents in front of coaches and possibly open up opportunities to go to school and get some scholarship money. So to be a part of the organization that puts the kids in position to be successful is very gratifying and that’s why we’re in this business. To help kids,” Welsh added.
Jonesboro Cardinals boys basketball head coach, Dan Maehlman echoed Welsh’s sentiments adding that with recruits and coaches for both high school and college not being able take part in the normal summer activities and recruiting events in almost 18 months, the return of the GBCA Live “is a blessing”. Maehlman continued that with the GBCA Live being moved to LakePoint, many consider the event to be one of the best in the country because of everything taking place under one roof. “You’ve got 15 courts and you can see so much talent at one time in a couple of days,” said Maehlman, adding, “we knew the coaches would come out because they haven’t been able to.”
And as for college coaches in attendances, the likes of Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastner to Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, were just a few big names in coaching spotted on day two of GBCA Live. Pearl’s presence was especially a big deal for the Greenforest Eagles, as they defeated Trinity Catholic out of Florida, with Pearl watching on the sideline. Auburn offered Greenforest’s Gai Choi a scholarship last week so for Pearl to see him in action live was “amazing” as the Eagles head coach, Rory Griffin said following their win in front of Pearl. “The entire atmosphere, for kids to be able to display their talents, for us all to be able to get back out here again, we’re just blessed,” said Griffin.
Session one of the GBCA Live will end on Sunday, June 20th and Session two will kick off on June 25th at LakePoint.