Women’s tournament brings pro talent to town

Photo by Alphonso Abbott Jr. Organizers plan to double the size of the pro am for next summer.

Women’s tournament brings pro talent to town
July 19
04:30 2018

There are more than enough outlets for men’s college and local players to get their summertime basketball fix throughout the city, but the same could not be said for the women.  Thanks to Whitney Knight and the Blue Chip Basketball Academy, that seems to have changed with the introduction of the Jump Off Triad Pro Am.

The Jump Off featured three teams of professional, college and post graduate female players looking to sharpen their skills during the summer months in a tournament atmosphere.  Kishon Bishop, founder of Blue Chip, collaborated with Knight, who is a professional basketball player from Winston-Salem, and the idea just took off from there.

“Whitney approached me about six weeks ago through a mutual friend, who told me she was home and was thinking about doing a pro am,” said Bishop.  “We were looking to get a women’s pro am together, so this was great timing.”

Bishop and his wife started Blue Chip back in 2012.  The program centers on showcasing the best basketball talent the Triad has to offer through all-star games, various leagues throughout the year and individual training.

“We are trying to have the same opportunities for our women as we do for our men,” said Bishop.  “So when Whitney and her dad reached out to me, I thought it was a great idea.”

Vernon Knight, Whitney’s father, says he spoke with his daughter about this idea nearly two years ago because she would always tell him that there was no place for women to “sharpen their skills” in the area when she comes home for the summer months.

“This year we started talking about a pro am and we just decided to do it,” said Vernon Knight.  “We approached Kishon about it and since he had all of the infrastructure, we just ran everything through him and used Whitney’s name as a brand name to draw attention and other women to come to the Triad and play some hoops.”

According to Vernon Knight, the ladies in the pro am were so impressed with the level of play, they asked him to plan another tournament next month before many of the players return overseas or go back to school.

Bishop stated he was very pleased with the turnout and the style of play from the pro am.  He says he is encouraged about putting together the next summer pro am next year with more teams and more promotion.

“The biggest thing I get out of this is the thank yous I receive, to be honest with you,” said Bishop.  “God put me in this community, so I always like to make sure our athletes have an opportunity to showcase their talent.”

Going forward, Bishop and Knight stated they want this event to be one of the premiere sporting events in the area during the summer.  They stated they don’t want to become too big, but would rather be known for their quality brand.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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