With the completion of high school football last week, the state's hoopsters are ready to take center court.
And, according to former Utah Jazz president Frank Layden, the first-ever State of Utah Basketball Hall of Fame High School Hall of Fame Classic, is no better way to start it off.
The defending 5A girls champion Kearns Cougars will meet the 4A champion, Olympus, at 5 p.m., and the 5A champs, Copper Hills will battle the 4A champion, Timpview, at 7 p.m. in the boys' match-up. Both games will be played at Jordan High School.
"I think we have an opportunity to use sports in a positive manner," said Layden, who will attend Tuesday's contests.
Proceeds will be donated to victims of sudden shock and trauma.
Along with receiving individual player-participation trophies, the winning girls team will received the Betty Clark Trophy, named after Betty Clark, a retired basketball coach and athletic director at Provo High, and the boys winner will receive the Evan Excell Trophy, in honor of current UHSAA Executive Director and long-time Ben Lomond coach and athletic director, Evan Excell.
The traveling trophies will stay at the winning high school for one year until the 2001 event.
The State of Utah Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, will hold similar games in the lower classifications at Snow College or other venues next year, on the same night as the 4A and 5A to kick off the basketball season.
This year, because schedules couldn't be adjusted, there are at least 25 other games Tuesday night. Class 1A began last week.
Last month, the State of Utah Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2000: George Hughes, Arnie Ferrin, the late Bill Howard, Ladell Anderson, Lola Thompson, Ron Boone, Billy McGill, Gwen McGill, Gary Hill and Lori Parrish-Salvo.
"I hope some day that the dinner will be so big that they will have to hold it in a big arena, and the game is so big it has to be played at a college or the Delta Center. That would be really exciting for the players," Layden said.
The cost is $3 for students and $4 for adults.
"It's another vehicle to make the state aware of the Utah Basketball Hall of Fame and raise some money for a good cause," Layden said.