Montana Elite Invitational Founder Ready for Year Two

The second annual Montana Elite Invitational will be played over Memorial Day weekend in Great Falls. This year, the showcase will feature 56 of the best non-graduating high school basketball players from around the state of Montana. New Media Broadcasters had a chance to speak with former NBA player Josh Huestis, who is the founder of the event. He runs the camp through the Josh Huestis Foundation, which provides opportunities for youth success in the Treasure State. Huestis was asked about why the first MEI proved to be a starting point so that it could continue to be an annual gathering.

“We got some great feedback (from) the people who came and watched, as well as the college coaches that were in attendance and watched on the livestream,” Huestis said. “We got great feedback in terms of how it was run (and) what it was able to showcase.”

“Most importantly for me, it was how much fun that the players had,” Huestis continued. “My whole thing wanting to do this is to give the kids a great opportunity to be recruited and to get better, but more important than anything else was to have fun with it.”

There will be a couple of new wrinkles for this year’s MEI that people will start to notice. After having only one day of competition open for in-person consumption, there will now be back-to-back days where the public can view the next stars of Montana basketball. Huestis shared why having a crowd will be so valuable to getting the best out of the kids during the showcase.

“People want to see these kids play,” Huestis said. “Last year, we played a lot of games, but I think what our focus is on is to give the kids more opportunities to play and showcase their skills.”

“(We are) opening it up to the public on both days as well as including a few more games for the kids to play because everyone loves playing in front of a crowd,” Huestis continued. “We hope to be able to bring in a lot of people to watch and cheer these kids on to show support for these incredible athletes.”

Huestis is a believer that his foundation will have its signature event of each year with the continued support of the communities around Montana so that the MEI can continue to grow and give high school basketball players the opportunities to be recruited in times when that might not have been the case.

“I’m a big believer that there are great players all over the state regardless of the size of the school,” Huestis said. “That’s one of the things we take pride in at the MEI; look all around the state and be able to find these kids that are maybe overlooked in other places. It gives them a chance to come here and compete and show they can compete with the big school players.”

“Basketball, unfortunately, is not always an equal-opportunity sport, but I’m trying to level the playing field here by giving everybody that is invited equal access regardless of income (and) regardless of situation.”

The second annual Montana Elite Invitational will be held at the University of Providence in Great Falls from May 25-27. Tickets are still available by visiting www.joshhuestisfoundation.com, where purchases will go straight back into the foundation.

Stay tuned for a preview of the New Media Broadcasters listening area athletes who will partake in the 2024 MEI.

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