A crowd of 4,812 was on hand tonight at Freedom Hall as Team Lightning defeated Team Thunder 122-109 in the 44th Annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (University of Kentucky) was named Team Lightning MVP. WKU signee Taveion Hollingsworth was named MVP of Team Thunder. Xavier signee Naji Marshall was named the “Fan Favorite” in online voting by fans and spectators at the game.


This year’s game featured top rated recruits from the nation’s top college basketball programs, including University of Louisville signees Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Jordan Nwora; UK signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander; and IU signees Justin Smith and Aljami Durham. At halftime, it was announced that the team of Chuma Okeke (Auburn signee) and Taveion Hollingsworth (Western Kentucky University signee) won Friday night’s 2-on-2 finals at Indiana University Southeast Activities Building during the Horseshoe Foundation Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars.


Tonight’s crowd got a sneak peek at players who will become household names among basketball fans over the next few years,” said Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry. “It was another great game with outstanding talent.”


The Finals for these competitions were held at halftime of tonight’s game.



Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Attending: University of Kentucky      



Savion Flagg Attending: Texas A&M        


First held in 1973, the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation. The game has featured such players as Jamal Mashburn, Rex Chapman, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Eric Bledsoe, Deron Williams and Nolan Smith, among many others.


The Basketball Classic is presented by Papa John’s, with Contributing Sponsor Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.  Media Sponsors are 99.7 DJX, B96.5 FM, and SLAM Magazine. Supporting Sponsor: Dick’s Sporting Goods. The game was broadcast on WDRB.


The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation.  It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.



Kentucky Derby Festival Press Office