CONCORD – The popular ACC Barnstorming Tour basketball game scheduled for April 22 at Cox Mill High School has been canceled.
The event’s director, Pet Sumner, announced the cancelation on Thursday morning, adding that no games on the six-city Barnstorming Tour would be played this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s the first time in the 42-year history of the tour that the games have been canceled. The annual games include seniors from North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State and Wake Forest against citizens from each city they visit. Former North Carolina star Phil Ford, who was born in Kannapolis, coaches the ACC squad.
This year’s game at Cox Mill was going to feature seniors from each high school in Cabarrus County taking on the ACC players.
Sumner said the tour will resume next year and that each location that was on the schedule this summer would be included in 2021, meaning Cox Mill would still host the game.
Some additional sites will be added.
The ACC Barnstorming Tour last stopped in Cabarrus County in 2016 at A.L. Brown High School’s Bullock Gymnasium.
“We were really excited about this year’s tour and the group of seniors,” Sumner said in a news release. “Several of our 2020 locations were selected because the school has not held a game in quite some time. However, not only was it the right decision, it was the only option available.”
The tour was slated to kick off in Lexington on April 8 and conclude with the final game in Boone on April 24. But as other major events, such as the ACC Tournament and NCAA tournament, were canceled, the Barnstorming Tour eventually followed suit.
“We were waiting to see how this would play out; praying for a different outcome, not just for Barnstorming but for the entire country,” Ford said in the news release. “We appreciate all of the hard work the schools had already put into this year’s games as well as the outpouring of support from our primary sponsors, Farm Bureau and Domino’s.
“Since I barnstormed in 1978, I can’t remember a season where the seniors haven’t been out all across North Carolina, thanking the fans for their support. We look forward to coming out in full force in 2021.”