PASADENA, Calif. – The fifth annual SoCal Senior Showcase will be held on Sunday, Apr. 23 in Caltech's Braun Gymnasium. This year's event has transformed into a SCIAC showdown, as the game will feature current SCIAC seniors versus SCIAC alumni all-stars. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and general admission is five dollars for non-students and two dollars for students with an ID.
The SoCal Senior Showcase traditionally was an annual senior all-star game for men's players from Division II and Division III institutions in California. Caltech Head Coach Dr. Oliver Eslinger and his staff implemented the event in 2013 as a way to highlight the careers of outstanding basketball players from the SCIAC, the CCAA, the Pacific West, and other non-Division I colleges in California.
"Because of the great excitement and participation from players in the SCIAC over the years, we've decided to make it a welcome back of sorts that pits great players from the past against the guys who are finishing their college careers," Eslinger said.
Seniors scheduled to appear include: Nasser Al-Rayes (Doha, Qatar / American School of Doha), Ricky Galliani (Menlo Park, Calif. / Sacred Heart Prep) and David LeBaron (San Diego, Calif. / Francis Parker) all from Caltech; Hakim Arnold, Cruz Mertens, and Anthony White from La Verne; Jordan Bickerstaff and Chris Kapano from Whittier; Adrian Francis and Wolfgang Wood from Cal Lutheran; and Josh Cohan from Chapman. Al-Rayes, Arnold, and Wood were named to the SCIAC First Team this past season.
"The game is a tremendous opportunity for the SCIAC to play with one another," said La Verne head coach Richard Reed. "It's a unique and great opportunity to put on your college uniform again to compete for your university and the conference."
The alumni team features several all-SCIAC players, including Arik Smith (Cal Lu), Nick Demusis, Eric Jennings and Andrew Torres (Whittier), Colin Zavrsnik (Chapman), and Gibson Farone-Collins (Pomona-Pitzer).
Many players on the alumni team traveled internationally with the SCIAC All-Star team over the last couple years, an expedition started by Whittier coach Mark Jensen.
"I've been fortunate to lead seniors from the SCIAC on tours to Italy and Greece to play against pro competition," Jensen said. "This showdown is another great way to highlight the sportsmanship and cohesion that the SCIAC is known for. Should be fun!"
Past players from the Showcase that went on to play professionally include Kwame Alexander, Mike Edwards, DeRonn Scott, and Arik Smith. Smith ended up signing a pro contract in Italy after being seen during the SCIAC All-Star tour.
"The event really shows how close-knit our conference is," Eslinger said. "With so many SCIAC folks involved as well as the support we get from David Dangleis (director of officials) and now the addition of Baller.TV, it's really turning into a cool experience."
Caltech assistants Steve Hodge and Jordan Mast will coach the two squads.
NCAA officials for the game are Bill Gayler, Bernard Robinson, and D'Andre Roberts.
Baller.TV, a startup in Pasadena that provides live and on-demand video broadcasting solutions for amateur sports, will cover the event.
"Baller.TV is excited to broadcast the SCIAC Showcase," said co-founder Aaron Hawkey. "Two of our engineers played for the Caltech basketball team, so we are proud to support the conference. The game will be streamed live at this link.