TEXARKANA, Texas — Hoopfest, the basketball showcase event featuring highly-touted teams and players from around the country, announced that it will be adding Texarkana, Texas, as one of the stops.
Red River Hoopfest will be at Texas High School on Dec. 3 to Dec. 4. The event will debut with teams from across Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
Highly-ranked basketball recruits like Anthony Black (class of 2022) and Ron Holland (2023) of Duncanville High School and Arkansas University commitment Derrian Ford of Magnolia High, as well as top level talents in the class of 2024 in Liam McNeely (John Paul II), David Castillo (Bartlesville) and Dallas Thomas (Parkview), will be attending — to name a few.
Glenn Smith, president and founder of Hoopfest Basketball, plays a heavy role in the Dallas-Fort Worth area basketball scene as a recruiting analyst, talent evaluator and tournament director. His hometown, however, is right here in Texarkana.
“I was born and raised in Texarkana,” Smith said. “I went to Dunbar Elementary, Pine Street Middle School and graduated from Texas High.”
Smith, who played on the THS team, said when he was growing up in Texarkana, everyone in the hoops scene looked forward to the “Red River Shootout,” at Texas High every year. This was a similar event where teams would meet for a competitive tournament in the region.
Due to a lack of funding and time constraints, the Shootout ended in 1994.
Now, he wants to use his resources to help bring that passion for the game back to his hometown.
“From ’94 to about ’99 when I graduated, even then, there was a real big basketball presence in the Texarkana area,” Smith said. “Games were sold out and packed — not like it is now. Whether it was Texas High playing or Saratoga that was good — even Arkansas High had a good run — Queen City, Clarksville. All of these teams in the surrounding area, you had some really good squads. But at some point, the love for basketball and the excitement kind of died out or went away.
“Because of the reputation that I have in the basketball world, I was like ‘I need to do something back at the crib and bring something back, as well as give the local kids something to look forward to and something to go to.’ And I think right now, with the way that the city is moving, we need something like this.”
Smith started Thanksgiving Hoopfest in 2008 at a venue that is now a parking lot for the Dallas Cowboys — the Metro Academy of Math and Science. The event moved over to Duncanville High School and has been there for the past 12 years, except for last year when it was at the American Airlines Center.
He said around 13,000 people attended last year’s event at American Airlines.
“These kids need to see someone that walks and talks and comes from the same environment that they came from who’s able to do things like this for some sort of motivation that everything they see around them isn’t the end-all, be-all,” Smith said. “I’m hoping it inspires kids a lot.
“The reason I think it will help a lot is because of the teams I’m bringing and the players that are coming. I have some of the best teams in the country coming with some of the best players in the country. They’re all coming to Texarkana.”
The full slate of games on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec.4 is as follows:
— 5 p.m. Magnolia, Arkansas vs. Calvert, Texas
— 6:30 p.m. Parkview, Arkansas vs. John Paul II, Texas
— 8 p.m. Texas High vs. Carver, Louisiana
— 9:30 p.m. Zachary, Louisiana vs. Duncanville, Texas
— 10 a.m. Calvert vs. Ashdown, Ashdown
— 11:30 a.m. Mount Pleasant, Texas vs. John Paul II
— 1 p.m. Lancaster, Texas vs. Legacy, Texas
— 2:30 p.m. Parkview vs. Zachary
— 4 p.m. Faith Family, Texas vs. Tulsa Union, Oklahoma
— 5:30 p.m. — Bartlesville, Oklahoma vs. Magnolia
‚– 7 p.m. — Texas High vs. Little Rock Hall, Arkansas
— 8:30 p.m. — Duncanville vs. Carver
Smith said media outlets like Ballislife.com, SLAM Magazine and Texas Hoops will be at the event.
“I plan on making this a yearly thing,” he said. “I plan on adding this as one of my stops that’s part of the Hoopfest basketball tour. I want people to know that the first weekend of December, the Red River Hoopfest is coming.”
Tickets are $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday. The tickets are good for the full day of games.
(Tickets can be purchased at the door or at hoopfestbasketball.com online.)