Derek Smith Invitational: Background, Players in Attendance, & Tickets

MADE Hoops is working alongside the Smith Family to bring the Derek Smith Invitational to Louisville December 2nd and 3rd. Derek Smith is a Louisville Cardinals legend that played a vital role in the program’s success in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and helped the Cardinals win a national title in 1980. 

Smith would go on to be drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the 35th pick in 1982. He played eight seasons in the league, playing for five franchises over that timespan and averaging 12.8 points for his career, before joining the Washington Bullettts as an assistant coach.

The former Cardinal and NBA veteran passed away tragically in 1996 at the age of 34, and his family has honored him in different ways throughout the game of basketball ever since. His son, Nolan, who is now an assistant coach at Louisville, and daughter, Sydney, now both reside in the Derby City, and what better way to honor their father’s name other than a marquee basketball event in a city he called home?



All games will be held at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky. You can find tickets here:

Two of the Bluegrass State’s top prospects that are now attending prep schools are Tyran Stokes (Prolific Prep, No. 1 in 2026) and Jasper Johnson (Link Academy, No. 11 in 2025), who will be making their homecoming that weekend. Those two will face off during the night cap on Saturday, December 2nd at 8:45 PM in a battle of two top-three teams in high school basketball.

Among some of the other top prospects in attendance are:

AJ Dybantsa (Prolific Prep, No. 1 in 2025)

Jayden Quaintance (Word of God, No. 3 in 2024)

Tre Johnson (Link Academy, No. 7 in 2024)

Zoom Diallo (Prolific Prep, No. 12 in 2024)

Labaron Philon (Link Academy, No. 17 in 2024, Kansas)

Aiden Sherrell (Prolific Prep, No. 24 in 2024, Alabama)

Bryson Tucker (Bishop O'Connell, No. 25 in 2024)

Derrion Reid (Prolific Prep, No. 36 in 2024)

Neiko Mundey (Shabach Christian Academy, No. 61 in 2026)

Jalen Shelley (Link Academy, No. 62 in 2024, Arkansas)

Mikey Lewis (Prolific Prep, No. 69 in 2024, Saint Mary's)

AJ Swinton (Bishop O'Connell, No. 80 in 2024, Florida State)

TO Barrett (Link Academy, No. 88 in 2024, Missouri)

James Brown (Link Academy, No. 93 in 2024, North Carolina)

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