7-8-21 roundup: College baskeball and cross country, Legion baseball, Pro baseball
By Richard Walker
A major college basketball tournament will be held at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center with ties to the current ownership tenant of the building and his alma mater.
The Charlotte Sports Foundation announced on Thursday a three-year agreement with Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Oklahoma to plau men’s and women’s basketball tournaments called the “Jumpman Invitational.”
The four schools are the original four schools to sign partnership deals with Jordan Brand that’s run and named by former North Carolina basketball star and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan.
The inaugural event will be held Dec. 20-21, 2022.
“We’re incredibly excited to bring what we believe will quickly become the marquee college basketball event of the holiday season to the Queen City,” executive director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation Danny Morrison said in a news release. “These are four of the most storied and competitive programs in the game, and we’re looking forward to the interconference play.”
Morrison said the event could expand to include other Jordan Brand schools in 2023 and 2024.
Three local teams begin best-of-five N.C. Area IV quarterfinal series with home games on Friday – and one is playing another local team.
Cleveland County (10-4), the No. 1 Western Division seed, hosts Queen City (8-4) at 7 p.m. at Keeter Stadium at Veterans Field. Cleveland County got a first-round bye while Queen City swept Maiden three games to none in the first round.
Cherryville (11-5), the No. 2 Western Division seed, hosts Lincoln County (4-2) at 7 p.m. at Fraley Field. Both Cherryville and Lincoln County picked up first-round byes when their opponents – Union County and Asheville, respectively – didn’t have enough players to compete in the first round series.
And Gaston Braves (9-7), the No. 2 Eastern Division seed, hosts Rutherford County (10-5) at 7 p.m. at South Point High’s Raider Field. The Braves beat Caldwell County three games to one in their first round series and Rutherford eliminated Gastonia three games to one in its first round series.
Mint Hill (11-2), the No. 1 Eastern Division seed, hosts Burke County at 7 p.m. at Independence High School the other quarterfinal series.
The quarterfinal winners will advance to a July 14-19 best-of-five semifinal series with the best-of-five Area IV finals set for July 20-25.
College cross country
Shelby’s Andre Washington has signed a national letter of intent to run cross country at Cleveland Community College. Washington is a 2019 Shelby High graduate.
The Gastonia Honey Hunters Thursday night game at Southern Maryland was postponed by inclement weather and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 21.