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Ruben Douglas To Play
In Derby All-Star Classic--(April 3, 1998)

Ruben Douglas (6'-5" Sr. PG/SG) from Bell-Jeff in Burbank, who has signed with Arizona, finally got some respect. He was uninvited to the McDonalds' game, uninvited to the Magic Johnson Roundball Classic, and apparently was uninvited to the Snapple Eddie Jones All-Star Classic (actually it may be unfair of us to say "uninvited". . . the most we can say is that he won't be playing there, at least not from the rosters we have, which is a shame since he was, after all, the player of the year in Division IV). But Ruben will play at the Derby All-Star Classic in Louisville, Kentucky on April 25, 1998.

The Derby Classic? You bet. While the Kentucky Wildcats seem to have a pretty good grip on the end of March, that's nothing compared to the attention the ponies command a few weeks later, especially if you're a Kentuckian. On the first Saturday of every May, America's best three-year-old thoroughbreds assemble at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky to run around the track for two minutes and millions of dollars; not a bad day's work.

But the "Kentucky Derby" is more than just a horse race; it's an entire season of the year if you're from Kentucky. Some sports writers have called it "the greatest two minutes in sports" (although we'd take the last two minutes of the Stanford-Kentucky game any day), but it's really a major event, with millions watching on television while over a hundred and twenty-five thousand watch in the stands at Churchill Downs. We don't really understand what all the fuss is over a bunch of really short guys on horses, but we do think it's a pretty good excuse for a party. It's also been, for more than a hundred years, the excuse for a bunch of other stuff to happen around Louisville: Parties, parades, two-week drunks, you name it, they'll be doing it, sort of a tamer, more genteel version of Mardi Gras. The parties given by the locals and some corporations prior to the Derby are legend--just read Hunter S. Thompson's accounts sometime, and you'll know what we mean.

Two weeks before the Derby, the parties and special events become reasons in and of themselves. And there's more: There's a "Great Balloon Race", riverbank picnics, steamboat races down the Ohio River, "Thunder Over Louisville" (a great fireworks display), and the Pegasus Parade. All this while drinking mint juleps. Plus a lot of guys dressed like Col. Sanders. Sometimes surreal, but still lots of fun.

Now add to that list a great Prep All-Star Tournament: The Derby Classic.

The Derby Classic will be played April 25, 1998 at Louisville. Ruben Douglas who has signed with Arizona, has been invited to play, along with some other pretty esteemed company. Ruben will be playing on the Purple squad. Here's the list of who is playing:

Purple Squad:

Ruben Douglas (6'-5" Sr. PG/SG) Burbank Bellarmine-Jefferson, CA,
J.P. Blevins (6'-2" Sr. G) Edmonton Metcalfe County, KY,
Erick Barkley (6'-1" Sr. G) Pittsfield Maine Central Institute, ME,
Ronald Blackshear (6'-4" Sr. G) Camilla Mitchell Baker, GA,
Desmond Allison (6'-6" Sr. F) Tampa Robinson, FL,
David Graves (6'-6" Sr. F) Lexington Catholic, KY,
Harold Swanagan (6'-7" Sr. F) Hopkinsville University Heights, KY,
Michael Wright (6'-8" Sr. F) Chicago Farragut, IL,
Souleymane Camara (6'-11" Sr. C) Mouth of Wilson Oak Hill, VA,
Tony Kitchings (6'-11" Sr. C) Aiken High, South Aiken, SC.

White Squad:

Quentin Richardson (6'-5" Sr. G/F) Chicago Whitney Young
Ted Dupay (5'-9" Sr. PG) Cape Coral Mariner, Florida,
Cordell Henry (5'-9" Sr. PG) Chicago Whitney Young
Anthony Grundy (6'-2" Sr. SG) Chatham Hargrave Military, VA,
Janerio Spurlock (6'-5" Sr. G/F) Cincinnati Aiken, OH,
BB. Waldon (6'-9" Sr. F/C) Lakeland Kathleen, Florida,
Carlos Kimbro (6'-9" Sr. F/C) Memphis Kingsbury, TN,
Ajou Ajou Deng (6'-10" Sr. C) Oakdale St. Thomas, CT,
J.R. Van Hoose (6'-9" Sr. F) Paintsville High School, Paintsville, KY.

Ruben will be in some pretty distinguished company, and it should be interesting to see if he plays with Erick Barkley, who had a great game during the McDonald's All-American game, and is one of the most talented players in this year's class of seniors. And look for Erick and/or Ruben to matchup (assuming that they actually play some defense in this game) against Ted Dupay, a quick little point who also played in the McDonald's game.

The Swish Award
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