By Nathan Ham
For 40 years, the ACC Barnstorming Tour has been a mainstay of fun hoops action in the High Country or somewhere close by. This year, the tour makes a stop at Watauga High School on April 27.
While the complete rosters have not been announced yet, the team will have several talented seniors representing the four ACC schools in North Carolina.
N.C. State will have a trio of seniors playing, including leading scorer and Charlotte native Al Freeman. Joining him will be forwards Abdul-Malik Abu and Lennard Freeman. UNC will be well represented by Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Aaron Rohlman. Duke standout guard Grayson Allen will be on the team as well. Other team players will come from Wake Forest University. The Demon Deacons list three seniors on their roster: Mitchell Wilbekin, Terrence Thompson and Troy Rike, although no players from Wake Forest have been confirmed on the ACC Barnstorming Tour roster.
The tour is set to make eight stops across North Carolina with the first one being on April 9 at Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro. Next up, the tour stops at Forbugh High School in East Bend on April 10 and at Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville on April 12.
After a few days of rest, the tour kicks up again at Hunter Huss High School in Gastonia on April 18 before heading to Franklin High School in Frankin on April 20. The players then head to Asheville on April 21 for a game on the campus of UNC-Asheville.
With two dates left on the schedule, the tour goes to New Bern High School in New Bern on April 24 before finishing up the tour in Boone on April 27 at Watauga High School.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with the game starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 online at the Carolina Barnstorm Tour website and can be purchased locally at the high school, Mabel School, Hardin Park School, Blowing Rock School and the Margaret E. Gragg Educational Center. You can also get your tickets on the day of the game for $15.
The ACC seniors, coached by former ACC legends Phil Ford and Nolan Smith, will be taking on senior basketball players from Watauga High School. Varsity men’s basketball head coach Rob Sanders will coach the team.
How the ACC players performed this season
Al Freeman, NCSU – 16.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 38.6 percent shooting, 38.5 percent 3 pt. shooting.
Lennard Freeman, NCSU – 7.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 65.1 percent shooting.
Abdul-Malik Abu, NCSU – 5.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 46.7 percent shooting.
Grayson Allen, Duke – 15.5 PPG, 4.6 APG, 3.3 RPG, 41.8 percent shooting, 37 percent 3 pt. shooting.
Joel Berry, UNC – 17.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.2 APG, 39.6 percent shooting, 34.4 percent 3 pt. shooting.
Theo Pinson, UNC – 10.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.1 APG, 47.3 percent shooting.