For two weeks in July, the ESPN RISE Games presented by Target will bring together more than 13,000 student athletes at the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Returning for its second year at the complex, the July 14-27 event features the country’s premier high school basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer talent, along with competitive events in baseball, basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, softball and track & field.
I attended the inaugural event last year and had a blast. The kick off ceremony was like a mini-Olympics opening ceremony, complete with marching teams. We had a bit of rain last year, but I’m hoping for perfect weather this year. This year should be even more exciting as it follows the complete rebranding of the the complex to ESPN. That should provide some added elements. In fact, last year’s games were pretty much the kick off of the transition.
The ESPN RISE Games presented by Target is anchored by four elite high school sports events:
* AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion
* Under Armour High School Softball All-America game
* Champion Gridiron Kings, an elite 7-on-7 high school football event
* Champion High School Showcase, a US Lacrosse boys and girls event new in 2010.
One of the first ESPN-themed events since the complex rebranding in February, this year’s games provide the opportunity for athletes to experience “the big time” through multiple broadcast platforms.
The Under Armour High School Softball All-American game, Champion Gridiron Kings, AAU 17-under Boys Basketball Super Showcase presented by Champion and Champion High School Boys Lacrosse Senior Showcase will be televised on ESPNU live and as pre-recorded shows; and ESPN3.com will carry live competitive events.
The ESPN RISE Games presented by Target has grown from hosting 4,000 student athletes in its 2009 inaugural at Walt Disney World Resort to an expected 13,000-plus this July.
For more information, visit ESPNWWOS.com.