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As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so do the effects on sporting events within the state.

The 16th annual Real Deal in the Rock basketball tournament was slated to take place March 27-29 but has been rescheduled for June 5-7, according to a statement that was released by event founder and Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks Chairman Bill Ingram late Thursday night.

Earlier on Thursday, the Arkansas Activities Association postponed the Class 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A high school state basketball championships indefinitely.

Also, the 2020 All-Metro Basketball Classic -- which features the top senior basketball players from schools in Pulaski County -- was moved from March 17 to April 7. The girls game will begin at 6 p.m. while the boys will play at 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at Little Rock Hall's Cirks Arena.

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For Ingram, pushing one of the nation's top summer basketball tournaments back a couple of months wasn't a difficult decision considering the rationale behind it.

"The dire situation kind of made the decision for me," he said. "With everything that's going on, trying to have the event in 14 days was just too much. But as of now and as far as we know, everything is a go for June."

The Real Deal in the Rock wasn't the only big-name amateur tournament affected by the outbreak of a disease that's caused a national emergency. AAU President Roger Goudy announced Friday that all the organization's events are suspended for the next three weeks, effectively immediately.

"The AAU's first priority is the safety and welfare of all of our athletes, coaches and families," he said via a news release. "The AAU will continue to monitor the situation on a national, regional, state and local level. We will keep all of our AAU members updated as the situation evolves."

There were several other national summer basketball events that were canceled, with all citing health and safety as the main reason. The Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), which includes teams such as the Arkansas-based Woodz Elite, is delaying the start of its season while scrapping three competitions in April that were to be held in Indianapolis, Atlanta and Hampton, Va. The league canceled an event in May that was set to be played in Portland, Ore., as well.

Sports on 03/14/2020

Print Headline: Real Deal in Rock postponed to June


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