By Tom Archdeacon
Local NBA players Norris Cole and Daequan Cook, along with Mario Chalmers — all three of whom played in the recent NBA Finals — will headline the Ohio vs. Indy Pro All-Star Jam charity basketball game played Sunday night at Trent Arena in Kettering.
The gala event — promoted by Carlos Knox, a local hoops legend himself and now the director of the successful, pro-am league in Indianapolis each summer — will feature two teams stocked with players from the NBA, overseas pro leagues, the NBA’s Developmental League and the CBA.
“Daequan, Norris and I are all from Dayton and though each of us is somewhere else now, we want to attach ourselves to our home town and give back any way we can,” said Knox. “We want to put on a great basketball show, but it’s more than that. We want to show you can come out of the inner city and do something really positive in life.”
Cole and Cook both played high school basketball at Dayton Dunbar. This past season, Cole was a rookie guard with the NBA champion Miami Heat. Cook played for the runner-up Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 37-year-old Knox was a City League scoring champ at Meadowdale High, then starred at IUPUI, where he was the NCAA Division II scoring leader as a junior and won All Amerioca honors. He played several years overseas, coached at IUPUI, guided the Indiana Alley Cats to a pair of CBA titles and was an assistant with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. He now runs the Indianapolis-based Knox Pro Train, which mentors college and pro players.
Cole, Chalmers and Cook are currently training in Miami and flying in just for the game.
Knox said the rosters for Sunday’s game are still evolving. He’s hoping to add Chris Wright, the University of Dayton grad and former Golden State Warrior who is trying to make the Toronto Raptors, and Derrick Brown, the Chaminade-Julienne and Xavier product, who played for the Charlotte Bobcats and New York Knicks and now is an unrestricted free agent.
Indiana Pacers Lance Stephenson and George Hill will likely join Chalmers on the Indiana roster. Former Utah Jazz and Pacer guard Andre Owens is already committed.
Tickets — $15 general admission and $10 for students — can be purchased at Monique’s Shoes (3207 W. Siebenthaler, 937-279-9914) on line at Knoxindyproam.com and at Trent Arena on Sunday. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Tip-off is at 6:30.
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