'Battle of the Border' Tournament back in El Paso

'Battle of the Border' Tournament back in El Paso
Friday, March 15, 2013 - 1:32pm

As the longtime, 16th Annual Battle of the Border Basketball Tournament comes together over the next couple of weeks, a new branch of the tournament comes to life. A basketball showcase for high school girls and boys scheduled the weekend before the  tournament will allow the student athletes to demonstrate their skills to college recruiters on Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th, 9 am to 3 pm. After identifying the need to bring college recruiters to El Paso versus traveling to other cities, the discussions between Tournament Director, Steve Vicencio and Showcase Facilitator, Coach Miguel Padilla, the recruiting to solicit colleges to attend the showcase began. To date, a combination of 12 Division II, Division III, NAIA and Junior Colleges are expected to appear at the showcase scheduled for Saturday, March 16th (Girls) and Sunday, March 17th (Boys).

Some of the colleges that have expressed interest in attending include Claredon College, Cochise College, Eastern Arizona, Sul Ross State University, Our Lady of the Lake University and Western New Mexico University. High School Junior and Senior student athletes are encouraged to apply online EARLY for a nominal fee of $65. Registering early will give students the chance to create a profile that will include the student’s GPA, their anticipated college major and other pertinent information that recruiters are looking for outside of one’s athletic skills.

“El Paso has so many diamonds that have yet to be discovered,” said Coach Padilla, who is also the facilitator of the Girl’s Showcase. A former coach himself for a local girls basketball team, Padilla recalls taking a former student, Janelle Perez, a 2012 Horizon High School graduate, to a showcase in Dallas. Perez was later recruited by Division I College, Northern Louisiana State University. “So many kids want to play college basketball and while they may not qualify to play for Division I schools, there are other schools who are in need of solid student athletes and are willing to give students scholarships,” said Padilla. “Our primary focus is to help local kids get
in front of college recruiters and get their education paid for so they can be successful in their careers.”

The showcase is open to all area athletes, not just those residing in El Paso.

To register, students may log onto www.quickscores.com/back2basics For more information or questions, Boys Showcase, Ron Vicencio, (915) 494-5261, Girls Showcase, Miguel Padilla (915)292-3251 and Jacob Santillano (915)422-6729.

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