Event expected to deliver big boost to local economy
Roseville, Calif. – Some of the best girls’ basketball players and most successful club teams on the West Coast will compete in the EOT Summer Finale Showcase tournament Thursday through Monday at the Roebbelen Center in Roseville, attracting an estimated 4,000 athletes, coaches and fans – and scoring more than $1 million for the Placer Valley economy.
The EOT Summer Finale Showcase tips-off at noon Thursday, and then 8 a.m. Friday through Monday with games continuing into the evening at the Roebbelen Center located @the Grounds, 700 Event Center Drive in Roseville. Daily admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children older than 5 and for seniors. Younger children are admitted free. Parking is $10 per day.
About 160 club teams – from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, including several from the Sacramento region – will participate in the EOT Summer Finale Showcase. The five-day tournament is one of the largest and longest-running on the West Coast.
The club teams (also known as Amateur Athletic Union teams) will bring almost 2,000 middle and high school athletes and coaches, and just as many family members and hoop fans to Placer Valley. The community’s businesses – especially hotels, restaurants and stores – will enjoy a healthy boost in revenue.
“A sports tourism destination”
“It’s a huge win for everyone, from the athletes to area businesses,” said Kim Summers, Chief Executive Officer of Placer Valley Tourism and @the Grounds. “The tournament helps generate revenue for the region, and also showcases the Roebbelen Center and Placer Valley as a sports tourism destination.”
The Roebbelen Center’s ability to accommodate 12 full-length basketball courts scores big points with club teams and their players – and playing in an air-conditioned building in July is a game-winner.
“I love the venue,” said EOT co-owner and tournament director Pat Woodward, who organizes tournaments throughout the West Coast. “I wish I could pack it up and take it with me.”
Recruiters in attendance
The NCAA-approved EOT Summer Finale Showcase tournament allows players to compete and improve their skills – and Division I and II women’s basketball coaches and recruiters to evaluate their talent, possibly paving the way for scholarships. The EOT Summer Finale Showcase is one of only a couple of NCAA-approved club tournaments for girls in California.
So, the tournament attracts some of the best club teams on the West Coast, including Cal Stars, Team Stuck 360 and Proformance – and many of the top players.
“It’s a premier stop for us on the West Coast. This is the stop you want to be at on the West Coast.”Kyle Pape, co-club director with Derrick Lowe of Hawaii-based Proformance.
How premier? Proformance will have four teams – and 36 players – in the tournament and is staying two weeks in Roseville rather than flying back to Hawaii between a Chicago tournament and the EOT Summer Finale Showcase.
“It’s all about the exposure,” said Pape, who had 34 players get recruited to colleges during the most recent season. “We’re playing against some of the best teams on center court in front of (college basketball) coaches.”
Many of the athletes at the tournament are on both club and high school teams, practicing and playing games almost year-round. Some of the players already have offers from NCAA universities.
“It’s amazing to see all of these girls in one location,” said Tom Tran, director and head coach of Nor Cal Dynasty in Roseville and assistant women’s basketball coach at Sierra College in Rocklin. Nor Cal Dynasty will have three girls’ teams at the tournament. “You seldom see them under one roof.”
Each team will play at least seven games, and fans can keep up with the EOT Summer Finale Showcase schedule and scores online.
As the name suggests, the tournament is at the end of the club season, before many of the players enjoy a few weeks of summer break and then return to their school teams. EOT Summer Finale Showcase also provides one more chance for seniors to make a good impression for college coaches and recruiters.
“It’s kind of the last hurrah for their AAU teams,” said Tran, adding that only 6% of high school athletes play at the college level.
“It’s a critical time in the career of some high school seniors.”Tom Tran, director and head coach of Nor Cal Dynasty
But a “critical” time for players means a good time for basketball fans looking to watch the next Aliyah Boston, Caitlin Clark or Paige Bueckers.
“It’s amazing how much the sport has grown,” said Pape of Proformance. “It’s growing so much because of the stars who are coming out. When you have stars who are exciting to watch, it really helps the game.”
Those players – and many others – have helped women’s basketball become more popular in recent years. For example, the NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinal games in April had more than 4.5 million viewers, a 66% increase compared to a year ago, according to ESPN. And attendance for the opening games of the WNBA season in May increased 21% compared to a year ago.
“The sport has just exploded,” said Woodward, a former girls’ basketball coach at Oregon City High School. “It’s great for the players, and for the fans.”
And for the Roebbelen Center and Placer Valley, which has been at the center of girls’ high school hoops the past few weeks.
NCAA-approved girls tournament
The EOT Summer Finale Showcase is the second NCAA-approved girls’ tournament at the Roebbelen Center in as many months. Girls California Live 23 attracted about 100 high school teams in June and dozens of women’s college basketball coaches. Girls California Live was the first for high school teams in the state since the NCAA approved such tournaments in 2019.
Nor Cal Dynasty’s Tran hopes that the recent NCAA-approved girls’ tournaments will lead to boys’ showcase events soon at the Roebbelen Center.
“We have the luxury of having the Roebbelen Center in our backyard,” he said. “I wish there was a tournament there every weekend.”