May 11, 2011: In 2010-11, John Wall was selected by the Washington Wizards as the No. 1 overall draft pick out of Kentucky. He went on to average 16. 4 points and 8.3 assists per game as one of the NBA's top rookies.
But back in 2007, as a virtually unknown high school player, Wall's appearance at the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge was what he now says first got college coaches nationwide to assess his skills.
This month, Wall, who has an endorsement deal with the division of adidas, is working with Reebok to re-launching the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge, with "Headliner Tryouts," from which the top 100 players will be extended an invitation to the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge, scheduled to be held July 6-9 at Philadelphia (Pa.) University.
The Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge will "provide players the opportunity to show their skills to hundreds of college coaches during the live evaluation period," per Reebok. (Full details here.)
"I'm excited to team up with Reebok to provide players a chance to get noticed,” Wall said in a statement. “Reebok Breakout was the first major step on my path, and I am humbled to be able to give back to players that deserve it and truly want to earn their way. I hope the event brings them as much success as it brought me."
Top performers at the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge will be hand selected by Wall to join him for a private training retreat, The Pre-Season Prep, at the end of the summer to prepare for the upcoming season.
Wall credits the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge as the "turning point" in his career. In 2007, as a prep player, Wall drove from Raleigh, NC to the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge in Chicago. Wall went on to be the top-ranked player in his high school class, followed by the SEC Player of the Year during his only season at Kentucky and then the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.
“Reebok Breakout was the first major step on my path, and I am humbled to be able to give back to players that deserve it and truly want to earn their way."
“John’s performance at the event put him on the basketball radar and launched his career,” according to Brian Lee, head of Reebok Basketball,. “This is truly a story about a kid with an opportunity and a dream, a dream which John feels passionate about offering others the chance to achieve.”
Reebok said it has developed a "unique and innovative system that opens the door to this elite event for any player to earn their way in." According to Reebok, the Headliner Try Outs are the only way to guarantee an invitation to the Reebok Basketball Breakout Challenge, "meaning the selection of players will be entirely based on merit."
There are 14 scheduled Headliner Tryouts taking place nationwide in late May and June. Locations include Englewood, NJ (for the NY/NJ region), Boston, Washington D.C., Charlotte, Jacksonville, Houston and the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. (Full details and map here).