On the campus of Augustana College, the Elmen Center opens its door to a premier, college exposure basketball showcase event. With over 600 kids from around the upper Midwest, the Dakota Showcase is one of the biggest tournaments in the entire state.
“We have the Dakota Showcase. We have 64 teams in town from 8 different states. The event will bring about 3,000 visitors to town. It’s a great event to showcase talent of high school student-athletes. We have coaches from the NAIA, division II, division III, and Junior college here to look at the talent,” Assistant Showcase director Lucas Mohrman said.
The showcase is organized through Mr. Basketball & Miss Basketball, a company which has developed a national reputation for hosting events for high school hoops competition and college exposure. South Dakota has a ton a talent, but doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. This event helps solve that.
“Well for one there are a lot of South Dakota teams here. We don’t get to see South Dakota a lot when we’re recruiting in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. So, we’re trying to find players that maybe we don’t know about and always looking to find players. That’s what it comes down to. If you’re going to have a good program, you have to have good players. So, we’re always on the look for good players,” Wayne State Women's Basketball coach Chris Kielsmeier said.
The Players also enjoy the college exposure. A good tournament could turn into a college scholarship. Another major benefit is the experience they gain playing other teams from across the region, and taking on a higher level of talent level and skill at the showcase.
“The biggest benefit for me would be higher competition level, it’s a little faster and a lot more competition. You get to play with a lot a good guys and it’s fun to compete,” Dakota Niners forward E.J. Drake said.