Summer league may involve Vols

Tennessee's chances of fielding a top-flight basketball team next winter are about to get even better. Several Vols are expected to compete in the Pilot Rocky Top League this summer at Knoxville's Bearden High School.

The league will allow some UT players who might have gone home for the summer to stick around Knoxville and hone their skills against local competition on a local court.

The summer league is the brainchild of Andre Whitehead, who oversees a Tennessee high school basketball website. Pilot Oil is the primary sponsor of the league, which is sanctioned by the NCAA. The only stipulation is that each team is limited to no more than two current Div. 1 players.

In addition to several current Vols, the Rocky Top League is expected to feature some of the top high school players from the Knoxville area, plus numerous current and former college players who reside in East Tennessee.

Play begins June 18, with games scheduled each Monday and Wednesday through July 16. Tip-offs each evening will be at 6, 7:30 and 9.

Best of all, there is no charge for admission or parking.

The Rocky Top League will offer fans a great opportunity to watch some current, past and (perhaps) future Vols in action. It also will offer several current Vols a chance to fine-tune their games as they prepare for the 2007-08 season.

Tennesee is coming off a 24-11 season that included a one-point loss to eventual NCAA finalist Ohio State in the Sweet 16. The Vols return every significant contributor from that team except senior forward Dane Bradshaw, so the future is bright. Thanks to the Rocky Top Summer League, it soon may be even brighter.


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