KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the creators of the McDonald’s All-American Game are teaming up to bring the top girls basketball teams from around the world to Knoxville.
The Jump Off, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame global championship, will have AAU girls teams from grades 5 through 10 compete in regionals leading up to the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony week. The regional winners will compete June 11-14 with the championship games being nationally televised on the final day.
“The game of basketball has changed and this event brings the women’s game into the new world,” the Hall of Fame said in a news release.
The games will be played at the Knoxville Coliseum.
There are eight regions that will send top teams to Knoxville for Global Championship Week. Each state is organized under regions including: New England, Northeast, West, Gulf, Midwest, Tennessee Valley, Texas, and International/Small States.
The eighth region, reserved for international teams and small states, will travel directly to Knoxville and compete in regional play before the championship week begins.
“We are thrilled to share the values and mission of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame with the next generation of promising athletes,” Hall of Fame President Dana Hart said. “This women’s basketball event, spanning multiple grades around the globe will feature tomorrow’s basketball stars and leaders.”
The top two teams from each state/area will be chosen by a national committee to participate in the regionals. According to the release, selection criteria include 2019 record and level of competition, top prospects, strength of club (historically) and retention of top athletes.
One of the two teams to represent Tennessee has already been chosen. Katy McGuinness with 212 Sports Group, a former partner at All American games, offered the first invitation to the Central Tennessee Tide team from Manchester. The Central Tennessee Tide is a two-time national AAU champion.
“This national showcase event will bring the world’s top youth teams together like no other,” McGuinness stated. “This is a standout tournament showcasing the rich spectrum of women’s basketball, where this game began and where it is going.”