Bolen Bringing in National Talent for Tournament - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Bolen Bringing in National Talent for Tournament

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For close to 20 years, Bob Bolen was calling plays as head coach of Mountain State. But for longer than that, he's been making calls for the Scott Brown Memorial Classic.

"I had a little more time of my hands this year and I thought to change the format and try to bring something really big time to southern West Virginia," said Bolen, who organizes the tournament in its 24th year.

That 'big' time he's talking about is mixing in national talent with local players for the exhibition game on Saturday, April 13 at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Among those players are four signees heading to WVU.

"They've already committed to play and they are excited about their first game in West Virginia. They are finally going to make it to the campus and I believe they are going to be counted on heavily next year to turn this thing around which WVU will," Bolen said.

Players expecting to play have also signed to Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Baylor and Arkansas.

"A Virginia Tech going against West Virginia players. A kid signing with Baylor going against West Virginia players. I'm expecting a battle, not a show. I'm expecting two teams trying to win," Bolen said.

Local players include Shady Spring's Chase Connor and Woodrow Wilson's Andrew Johnson. With all that talent on the court, fans can expect a high-level of play.

"I think the West Virginia kids will try to win. I think the AAA West Virginia kids will try to show people they can compete with all these kids that have signed Division I," Bolen said.