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December 7, 2012Jamie Johnson has always wanted to put together a top flight high school shootout to the state of Iowa. This Saturday, he will do just that when the first Heartland Shootout is held at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Before starting up the Iowa Barnstormers AAU program, Johnson was a talent evaluator who traveled around the country watching prospects at various high school shootouts and always thought it would be great if the state of Iowa had one of these type events that could provide an opportunity for the best players in Iowa to compete with the best high school teams in the Midwest.
"This is something that I have kicked around for years," Johnson said. "I thought it was be great to get an event like that here in Iowa and showcase the talent from our state against top talent from around the Midwest."
The dream of this event will become reality on Saturday afternoon when the 2012 Heartland Shootout takes plays, starting at 1 p.m. when perennial state power Linn-Mar faces off with a young and talented group from North Scott High School. The day will end with the final game of the day pits West Des Moines Valley against Blue Valley Northwest out of Kansas at 6:15 p.m.
Johnson says that it wasn't too difficult to get high school coaches to sign on to his event.
"It wasn't hard to get teams from the state of Iowa to participate. I had coaches from all over the state calling me saying they wanted in," he said. "Getting teams from out of state to come in was a little harder, but it didn't take me long to fill the slots. I've already got about a half dozen teams from surrounding states interested in doing this next year."
One of the draws this year will be the fact that commits and targets for the Hawkeyes and Cyclones will be participating in the event, so if you are a basketball recruiting fan, this is the perfect event for you.
"We were pretty fortunate the way things worked out from an Iowa and Iowa State fan perspective. We have West Des Moines Valley playing and at the time we scheduled the event, Peter Jok wasn't committed to Iowa. He has now signed with Iowa, so that should draw in some Hawkeye fans. They will be facing Blue Valley Northwest from Kansas and they feature Clayton Custer, who is a 2014 prospect that recently committed to Iowa State."
Tickets for the event are just $8 and that gets you four games of high school basketball and every game features prospects that fans of hoops recruiting will want to see.
In the opener, Linn-Mar and North Scott from Eldridge, IA face off. Linn Mar always has plenty of talent and North Scott features 2015 prospects Grant Graham and Cortez Seales. Graham is already getting interest from Iowa and Northern Iowa and Seales has heard from the Hawkeyes and picked up an offer from UNI this fall.
In the second game, scheduled to tip at 2:45, Ankeny will play Minnesota powerhouse De La Salle. Ankeny features UNI signee Ted Friedman and De La Salle is loaded once again and is led by Reid Travis, who is getting interest from the Hawkeyes for basketball and football. Sophomore Jarvis Johnson has early offers from Creighton, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa.
In the third game, scheduled to being at approximately 4:30, Waverly-Shell Rock plays La Crosse Aquinas from Wisconsin. Aquinas features Wisconsin commit and 2013 standout Bronson Koenig and Shell Rock has a standout performer and UNI signee Klint Carlson.
As mentioned earlier the final game is Valley vs Blue Valley Northwest with tip time set for 6:15 p.m.
For more on the Heartland Shootout, please visit www.heartlandshootout.com for all of the details.