O-W letters logo with bruin

T&D Region high school football teams have season tune-ups known as jamborees.

Now area basketball teams have the 2017 Bruin Jamboree at Claflin University to test their teamwork and skills before starting the season schedule.

Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 and Claflin have partnered together to host 12 teams in 2-quarter contests on Tuesday, Nov. 21 inside Tullis Arena. 

"This the the first (such jamboree in the area), and I'm glad we're able to partner with Claflin and do what's best for the Orangeburg community," O-W girls head basketball coach and former Claflin men's basketball player Cedrick Simpson said. "For me, it's the best time of the year; of course, as a basketball coach, I'm a little biased."

Fans can get in to see the games including teams from both the South Carolina Independent School Association and the South Carolina High School League for a $7 ticket. Each contest will last for two 8-minute quarters of play.

The schedule of games will be as follows:  5 p.m. - Lake Marion girls vs. Heathwood Hall, 5:45 p.m. - Swansea boys vs. White Knoll, 6:30 p.m. - Richland Northeast vs. Keenan, 7:15 p.m. - Lake Marion boys vs. North Charleston, 8 p.m. - Orangeburg-Wilkinson girls vs. Blackville-Hilda, 8:45 p.m. - Orangeburg-Wilkinson vs. Lakewood.

"Before each team gets going with their season, it's a good time to fellowship with other coaches, and for players who may see each other on the AAU circuit to see each other again before the high school schedule starts," Simpson said. "We have a lot of young, talented kids playing and we want the community to come out and see them.

"For our girls program, we return (senior point guard) Autheria Dantzler (12 points, 5 assists, 3 steals per game in 2016), (junior forward/center) Brandi Rivers (12 points, 10 rebounds per game in 2016) and (sophomore shooting guard) D'Mya Tucker (6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal per game in 2016, ranked in the ESPNU Top 100 for 2020)."

The final contest of the night in the inaugural Bruin Jamboree will give O-W fans a chance to get an early look at the Bruins boys team entering its first season under the direction of former Holly Hill-Roberts and Bowman state championship coach Willie Thomas.

"It's been great seeing the guys and the transformation into his system," Simpson said. "The key thing he has done is institute discipline with the team.

"They understand it's about more than just basketball, but it's about learning how to prepare for the game of life."

The team from Thomas' most recent post, at Swansea High School, will be playing earlier in the day.

Simpson believes this even is something that can be done every fall, and could eventually lead to sponsorship and having a team camp in the summer.

"Bring great basketball to the city, that's the plan," he said. "I love Claflin and anything I can do as an alumnus, i'm going to do. They do a lot for us.

"Claflin and District 5 always work together well on things, as does South Carolina State. This all wouldn't be possible without our athletic director, Troy Johnson, who has done a real good job of giving the kids the best opportunity possible."

The O-W teams will be starting the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at home against Bethune-Bowman.

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