By Josh Brown
TROY — Less than a week before the season’s official start, Troy’s girls basketball team is putting together its annual dress rehearsal.
Beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, the Trojan Activities Center will play host to 18 girls basketball teams from every division, with some local touches, some division rivalries and looks at some teams people in Miami County don’t usually get to see play with a series of nine games in Troy’s sixth annual preseason preview event.
“This is the sixth year we’ve done this now, and it’s like a dress rehearsal for the season,” Troy girls basketball coach Nathan Kopp. “It’s a good opportunity for teams to go through game-day situations — get on the bus, travel and play a half of live basketball — before everything starts for real.”
Admission will be $3 for adults and $2 for children, with no conference passes accepted. And, as in years past, the proceeds from the event will go to a charity — and this year’s will go somewhere near to the team’s heart.
“The last few years, we’ve done this as a benefit, as a chance for the girls to give something back,” Kopp said.”Last year it was to the Lincoln Center, the year before that Future Begins Today, the year before that Miami County Special Olympics. We try to make it a local benefit.
“This year, all the proceeds benefit the Jeff Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund. Jeff was the husband of Barb Roberts, our junior high athletic director and track coach. He passed away from cancer last fall. Barb is a great person, all the girls love her and we couldn’t think of a better way to give back.”
The event kicks off at 2 p.m. with a game between Greenville — a Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division rival of Troy’s — and Houston. The Trojans themselves play in the final game of the night, taking on Milton-Union at 8:40 p.m.
“We’ve got Miami County flavor with teams like Milton-Union, Miami East, Troy Christian, Piqua and Bradford,” Kopp said. “We’ve got division opponents like Butler and Greenville, as well as teams like Celina, Anna, Tri-Village, Meadowdale, Russia, Kenton Ridge. Small school, biggers schools, GWOC schools — a little of everything. The last couple years, we’ve had teams reach out to us beforehand to see if they could be involved.”
So for fans, it’s a chance to see good girls basketball from all over the area. And for the teams, it’s a chance to get back to basketball before the season begins.
“The girls are excited to play, and we’re excited to be able to do this for that cause, for Barb and Jeff,” Kopp said.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.