Fifth Third Arena to host CPS all-star hoops event this weekend

CINCINNATI — Woodward High School senior forward Keliese Frye can’t wait to participate in Saturday’s high school slam dunk contest at Fifth Third Arena.

“I’ll probably start off with a windmill but you’ll see the rest later,” Frye said with a smile. “I’m not going to say too much.”

Frye along with Woodward teammate Paul McMillan IV – the Gatorade Ohio boys basketball player of the year – and several other top boys and girls basketball players from Cincinnati Public Schools will participate in the first CPS Basketball All-Star Showcase starting at noon Saturday on the University of Cincinnati campus.

The day will include all-star games and a skills contest including a 3-point event and a dunk competition. There is also a college and opportunity fair to start the afternoon.

There will also be a recognition ceremony for the Taft boys basketball state championship team and the latest inductees into the district’s athletic hall of fame will be honored too.

“We have a lot of great student-athletes who will be recognized,” said Cincinnati Public Schools athletics manager Josh Hardin.

Hardin said 100% of the proceeds go directly to Project Connect which provides advocacy paired with specialized educational services and lifestyle enrichment opportunities for children who are homeless.

“We’re really excited about the check presentation with the great sponsors that we have and the tickets that we anticipate selling,” Hardin said.

Hardin said this season was likely the strongest year for district boys and girls basketball in the past five years since he’s been athletics manager.

“I’m excited about this weekend,” Gamble Montessori boys basketball coach Michael Holmes said. “I’m excited to see the kids from different schools coming together uniting as one, after competing against each other all year.”

Tickets are $20 and good for the entire day.

“We’re just really excited about bringing out the city and the community to highlight and showcase what the CPS all-stars can really do,” Hardin said.

The student-athletes and coaches can’t wait for this opportunity at Fifth Third Arena.

“It makes me motivated because this is where I’m trying to be, the next level, big arena, a bunch of fans,” Frye said. “This is where I want to be.”

WCPO’s Caleb Noe contributed to this report.

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