High-scoring guard Austin Rivers anticipates cheers and perhaps some boos when he plays in the 2011 Jordan Brand Classic at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena at 8 p.m. on April 16.
Rivers joins Michael Gbinije as one of two Duke signees on the roster announced this afternoon for the high-profile high school all-star game. The game will have a distinct Duke-Carolina flavor, as North Carolina signees James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston also are on the roster.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of Duke people there to support me and a lot of North Carolina people hating on me,” Rivers said. “At the end of the day, it’s all good. The Duke and North Carolina fans are the best fans in basketball, in my opinion.”
High Point’s Quincy Miller, who has signed with Baylor, and Winston-Salem’s Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s) will provide homegrown talent to the game, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The game began as the Capital Classic and was played three years in Washington, D.C., before being held the last six years in New York. Moving the game to Charlotte takes it to an area with strong college basketball fan support.
“The people from North Carolina are definitely going to be excited about seeing the North Carolina and Duke players,” McAdoo said. “We’re looking forward to that, showing our talents to the UNC future fans.”
The game will be televised on ESPN2. The event also will include an international game at 3:30 p.m. and a regional game at 5:30 p.m. featuring top high school players from North Carolina in an East vs. West format.
Sixteen top 17-and-under players from around the world will compete in the international game. Rosters for the international and regional games will be announced at a later date.
The main event will feature the top five players in the Class of 2011 according to ESPNU’s rankings. Winter Park, Fla., standout Rivers is ranked No. 1, followed by two Kentucky-bound players, Anthony Davis of Chicago and Michael Gilchrist of Elizabeth, N.J. Miller is No. 4, and McAdoo, a forward from Norfolk Christian in Virginia, is No. 5.
The game’s sponsor, Jordan Brand, is a division of Nike, Inc.
McAdoo will be returning to familiar territory because his sister, Kelsey McAdoo, played basketball for the Charlotte 49ers. He said he has enjoyed visiting Charlotte because of its diverse selection of restaurants and is looking forward to coming back because of Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan’s history as a former Tar Heel guard.
“Charlotte being the team that Michael Jordan owns and of course, Michael Jordan’s connection with North Carolina basketball, and with P.J. in the game also, I’m really looking forward to it,” McAdoo said.