The Capital Classic takes place on April 28 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, with tip-off at 2 p.m. (Courtesy photo)
The Capital Classic takes place on April 28 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, with tip-off at 2 p.m. (Courtesy photo)

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The much-anticipated annual Capital Classic basketball game will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday, April 28 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in southeast Washington. 

The competition’s athletes will include some of the best seniors in the nation against the best that the DMV has to offer.

Over the past half-century, the Capital Classic has showcased some of the top players in the country, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Dominique Wilkins, Grant Hill, Klay Thompson and Doc Rivers.

Each team will have 12 players, many of whom have committed to such basketball powers as national champion Connecticut, the University of Maryland and Memphis, The game tips off at 2 p.m. and will be livestreamed. 

Ricky Goings, director of Player Engagement and Alumni Relations for the Capital Classic, explained that the teams were selected based on the recommendation of several national coaches and scouts as well as the best from this area.  

“The Capital All-Stars are well positioned to defend the DMV’s turf against what will be a strong U.S. All-Star team,” said Goings. “We look forward to hosting a competitive game as part of our 50th Anniversary.” 

It is important to note that NCAA Division 1 coaches are not allowed to attend all-star games like the Capital Classic, but there will be representatives from the NBA.  One of the players who is on their radar is Mikey Williams, a five-star recruit, who is headed to the University of Memphis.

The head coach of the U.S. team will be former DeMatha and University of Maryland standout, Adrian Branch.  He will be assisted by Malcolm Battle, head coach at the Bard School who led his team to both the DCIAA and DCSAA state championship. 

“It is an honor to be selected to coach in the Capital Classic,” said Battle.  “Several of my friends and mentors played in this game.  And the fact that it is the 50th anniversary adds even more to the mix.”

The DMV team will be coached by Carlos Pointdexter, the highly successful head coach at Hayfield High School. Poindexter has led his school to back-to-back state championships. 

“I am thrilled to be able to coach this team,” said Pointdexter, who has lost only one game in the past two seasons. ”Being from the DMV, bragging rights will be on the line and we expect to represent well.” 

Goings said that this is the first time that the game has been televised since James, now a record-breaking basketball star, played many years ago.

“We are excited about the game being streamed,” said Goings. “The fans who are not able to attend will get a chance to see these outstanding young players perform at a high level.” 

Goings added that there will be an alumni reception for former players who played in the game.

“We want to bring the game back to the prominence it once held,” added Goings.”That is why it is important to honor the past players.”

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