Gulf Coast Hoop Fest comes to a close

(Photo source: file)
(Photo source: file)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The 2013 Gulf Coast Hoop Fest was a tremendous consummation.

This year's success was even more evident at the Mississippi Convention Center.

Six courts were installed inside the building next to the Coast Coliseum earlier in the week in preparation for the big event that was put together by Elevate Hoops.

Elevate Hoops CEO Rob Engemann says it's all about giving basketball players of the future a chance to shine in front of big-name college coaches.

"Roy Williams from North Carolina, Frank Martin from South Carolina and Mike Anderson from Arkansas were all here," Engemann said. "There were a lot of other head coaches that I'm missing. Kentucky, Florida, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Alabama and Memphis [were also in attendance], so you've got a good crew.

"It's been good. We do anything to help the kids get exposure and to try to get those college scholarships. That's what this is all about."

Hundreds of basketball players from all over the country made their way to the coast to take part in the three-day event. One of those players includes high school freshman Wendell Carter, who is from Birmingham, Ala.

He's 6-feet-8 and could draw a lot of attention from SEC coaches as he gets older. Engemann says that basketball fans who missed the event this year should try their best to make it next year.

"You're going to be able to see guys that will be playing in the NCAA tournament, in college, and in the NBA within the next four years," Engemann said. "Instead of paying 60, 80 or 100-plus dollars for a ticket, come pay your 10 dollars and you can come see them before."