Elite 100

Handley guard Corey Bell, seen here in a game against Lanett last season, was selected by the AHSAA to participate in an elite basketball prospect showcase at Hoover High School Saturday.

Handley guard Corey Bell, a rising senior who was the player of the year in the county last season, has earned an invitation to the state’s first Elite 100 Basketball Showcase, hosted by the AHSAA and conducted by the AHSADCA.

“It’s something new that they just started this year,” said Handley head coach Blake Smalley. “They’re trying to get more exposure for kids in the state of Alabama for basketball.”

The event will be a one-day showcase “to give an opportunity for the AHSAA’s top returning student-athletes to gain important instruction as well as exposure to college coaches in attendance,” according to a release from AHSAA communications director Ron Ingram.

“It’s just something that they’ve garnered a lot of interest from from recruiters,” Smalley said. “They want to come and see some of the best in the state, and see them in one location and see them compete and see if there’s anybody that piques their interest.”

The showcase will take place this Saturday at Hoover High School in the metro Birmingham area.

Bell led Handley in scoring with 15.1 points per game in his recently completed junior season and helped Handley advance to the regional finals in Montgomery.

Smalley submitted Bell as a nominee for a spot in the Elite 100 and said a number of coaches involved in the showcase had seen Bell play. Those coaches included boys camp director Patrick Harding, who is the head coach at Albertville. Handley played against Albertville in a holiday tournament this past season.

The camp will include a five-on-five competition as well as individual and team drills designed to highlight the players’ skills.

“I think they’re going to try to simulate a college-type practice atmosphere with drills they do,” Smalley said. “There may be some different ones that are a little more advanced than what you do at the high school level and kind of focus on some different things.”

Smalley said it’s a great opportunity for Bell, not only for the exposure that he will get in front of college coaches, but also developmentally for his overall game.

“I’m excited for him. You want your kids to be recognized for the hard work that they put in over the course of their career,” Smalley said. “He’s going to be a senior, and hopefully we can get some other players there in the future. I think it’ll be a good experience for him. Hopefully it will help maybe find him somewhere to play.”

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