HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — If you’re a basketball fan in the Capital Region, there’s a “must-see” event this weekend in Halfmoon.

“When you come in and watch just the layup line at a 17 and under game, you’ll be saying, ‘This is better than an NBA layup line,’ said Jim Hart, executive director of the City Rocks. He understands the AAU circuit inside and out, and will be bringing his 17-under, 16-under, and 15-under teams to the GymRat Live invitational this weekend.

“This event is really a unicorn,” said John KMack, CEO of GymRat basketball, “and it’s living in the Capital Region right now.”

As the tournament director, KMack says there’s nothing like this event anywhere in the country. Twelve of the best AAU teams in the USA and Canada, sponsored by Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, will all compete against each other.

If you’ve heard of the GymRat challenge that’s been around the Capital region for 25 years, where “everybody has a puncher’s chance in that to punch above their weight class to see where they measure up,” this is different. GymRat Live is by invite only, where only the most elite players are participating.

“That is just all alphas going head to head for two days, right here in the Capital Region,” said KMack, “and a chance to see the next Kevin Durant, the next Steph Curry, the next Zion Williamson.”

Six of the top 23 players will be at the Impact Athletic Center in Halfmoon, along with the No. 1 player from the class of 2024, and the top-ranked AAU team in the nation.

“Every one of these teams, they’ve all put pros into the NBA,” explained Hart, who added that part of the intrigue of this event is wondering who will be the next star.

College scouts won’t be allowed to show up in person because we’re outside the live recruiting period, but many have already signed up to watch the broadcast.

“Every power five conference in the country is gonna be represented watching the broadcast,” said KMack.

Capital Region basketball fans can watch in person. A one-day pass is $30. A two-day pass, which gains access to 54 games, is $40, including the championships.

“The energy in here for those championship games is going to be ridiculous,” said KMack.

Tickets are already on sale, and fans are strongly encouraged to get them online here.

Carmelo Anthony and his wife Lala will be in the building Saturday night to watch their son Kiyan take on the local City Rocks.

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