BALTIMORE Four of the nation’s top basketball teams packed Baltimore Polytechnic Institute on the afternoon of Saturday, January 27, 2018 for a showcase of top talent from Baltimore and Chicago high schools. This is the second time the four teams competed against each other, after urban lifestyle retailer DTLR launched the event last year.
Hundreds of fans attended the tournament. The afternoon began with a fast-paced game between St. Francis Academy representing Charm City against Chicago’s Morgan Park. St. Frances ranks No. 1 amongst Baltimore teams and quickly handed its competition a 95-75 win Saturday.
The second game of the tournament had audience members engaged and on their feet.
Simeon Career Academy (Chicago) and Poly (Baltimore) remained neck and neck during all four quarters. In the last 3 minutes of the game, Simeon pulled away, toward victory, winning 71-64.
“This all started with us talking smack in Chicago about how good the Baltimore basketball teams were. These two cities have so many similarities. The public school systems lack dollars— the kids don’t have jobs in the city,” said Jeff Bowden, DTLR Marketing and Outreach Director.
Midwest Marketing Ambassador, Michael Jones said the tournament brought together powerhouse teams.
“We have schools who have tradition, good programs and it’s to create a new rivalry,” said Jones. “These teams have never played each other before, so we are trying to showcase their talent in different regions.”
Fans said the city of Baltimore is excited about the energy this competition has brought to the city. “The future is looking bright,” organizers said.
They hope to build momentum; invite women’s rival high school teams to compete next year and would like to consider expanding to other cities where the DTLR brand is also growing in popularity.
“We have to do things as a private industry to give back to the community because it’s lack of dollars, lack of resources and these kids don’t have hope. We want these kids to know we are an outlet, said executives. “Let’s have some fun.”