The Roundball Classic, founded by Sonny Vaccaro, is America's original high school basketball showcase, with an unrivaled 43-year history of outstanding roundball competition.
The game traces its roots to Pennsylvania in the mid-1960's. In 1964, John Paul (Sonny) Vaccaro had a personal vision to bring a national high school all-star basketball game to a relatively new Civic Arena in downtown Pittsburgh.
Vaccaro recalled several years ago that, "I didn't know anybody and, of course, nobody knew me. I was just a young guy with a dream."
At that time, the state was a hotbed for high school football and Vaccaro asked himself why didn't high school basketball, with equally gifted talent, show up on the radar screen in terms of fan and media coverage. To make his dream a reality, the high school teacher and a friend (local concert promoter Pat DiCesare) approached Al Abrams, the sports editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper and founder of the Dapper Dan Club.
"He agreed to sponsor the game," Vaccaro recalled. "Pat agreed to financially support it if nobody showed up. Of course, that never happened but it was still a definite gamble."
Through Sonny's vision and with the help of DiCesare and Abrams, the Dapper Dan Roundball Classic was first played on March 26, 1965 before 10,334 fans in Pittsburgh. The first true national showcase for high school basketball all-stars, the Roundball Classic was held in the Steel City until 1993, when Vaccaro moved his post-season event to The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan and renamed it the Magic Johnson Roundball Classic. After a seven-year run, it was shifted for one year to North Carolina before moving, in 2001, to its current home in Chicago.
The 43rd edition of the Roundball Classic will take place Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 at The United Center in Chicago, Illinois at 7PM.
Over the years, the format of the game has evolved from a Pennsylvania All-Stars against the U.S. All-Stars into a contest between high school stars from across America. That format continues today with 23 distinguished players who will have a chance to make their marks in front of thousands of avid fans and millions of others on television and the Web.
For more than four decades, the game has featured hundreds of young players who have gone on to great accomplishment at the college and pro level and its a safe bet that many of the 2007 Roundball Classic All-Stars will follow the same path. Some of the past greats who have appeared in the game include Calvin Murphy, Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, Vince Carter, Alonzo Mourning plus recent No. 1 NBA Draft picks LeBron James and Dwight Howard. The game has even showcased a famous father-son combo - Joe "Bellybean" Bryant and his NBA superstar son Kobe.
Over the years the game, played under the auspices of Hoops that Help, has donated more than $4 million dollars to local and national charities such as The Boys and Girls Club, the Valvano Foundation and the Chicago Sun-Times Trust, among others.
Note: For event calendar, ticket information and hotel accommodations for the 2007 Roundball Classic, visit
To view the West and East rosters, player photos and in-depth player profiles for the 43rd Roundball Classic, click on either of the Roundball Classic logos below.