Former NFL quarterback and college football star Ryan Leaf will headline the third annual Dr Pepper TEN Classic basketball showcase scheduled for Feb. 2-3, 2018, at the Sports and Activities Center on the McCallie campus.
Leaf will tell his story at the Mountain View Auto Group Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 2 to kick off the Dr Pepper Ten Classic, featuring four games in two days by some of the best high school basketball teams in the country. National powerhouse Oak Hill Academy returns after appearing in the inaugural Dr Pepper TEN Classic in 2016, joined by McCallie, Ensworth School from Nashville, and Hamilton Heights.
Ryan Leaf was the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft behind Tennessee star Peyton Manning in 1998, but pressure to perform on such an elite level was more than he was prepared to deal with, ultimately leading to the demise of his professional football career in 2003. Leaf received his bachelor’s degree and took a coaching job with the West Texas A&M football team in 2006.
However, Leaf still struggled with his mental health and began to abuse prescription opiates due to a previous football injury. He made several unsuccessful attempts at recovery, and surgery to remove a mass in his brain added to his struggles. Eventually he wound up in jail in 2012 where a cellmate urged Leaf to use his prison time as an opportunity to accomplish something of greater importance. Leaf describes the time in prison as a time of “spiritual growth and humility.”
Today, Leaf is a leading voice for the recovery community. His mission is to reach anyone in need of hope. At one time, Leaf felt completely consumed by his mental health issues and the only way to pacify his pain was with drugs. Out of that desolation, he hopes to inspire others to begin their road to recovery to see that happiness and health can always be achieved. He chooses to share his story dealing with mental health issues and substance abuse in order to reach the person who cannot yet imagine a better life for themselves. Leaf’s wish is to be an example that a better life is always possible.
Following the luncheon and Leaf’s remarks, athletes will entertain guests and McCallie students in the Steam Logistics Dunk Contest.
The first night of action will feature Ensworth taking on Hamilton Heights at 6 p.m. on Friday followed by McCallie vs. Oak Hill Academy at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 3, will begin with a free youth basketball clinic in the morning followed by two more games with Ensworth taking on Oak Hill Academy at 6 p.m. followed by McCallie vs. Hamilton Heights at 8 p.m. Between games Saturday, players will compete in the Platinum Financial Funding three-point shooting contest.
Tickets for the Dr Pepper Ten Classic are $20 per night for general admission. Courtside reserved seating is also available for $50 for baseline seating and $75 for sideline seating. Reserved priority parking is available for $20 per night.
Tickets to the Mountain View Auto Group Luncheon featuring Ryan Leaf are $50 per person or $300 for a table of seven. Luncheon tickets include entrance to the Lamp Post Group Dunk Contest.
To purchase tickets to all of the exciting events at the 2018 Dr Pepper Ten Classic, click here.
McCallie Dr Pepper TEN Classic Schedule of Events
Friday, Feb. 2
- 11:30 a.m.: Mountain View Auto Group Luncheon featuring Ryan Leaf
- 2 p.m.: Steam Logistics Dunk Contest
- 6 p.m.: Ensworth School vs. Hamilton Heights Christian
- 8 p.m.: Oak Hill Academy vs. McCallie
Saturday, Feb. 3
- 10 a.m. – noon: Free Youth Clinic with McCallie Coach John Shulman and Oak Hill Coach Steve Smith
- 6 p.m.: Ensworth School vs. Oak Hill Academy
- 7:30 p.m.: Platinum Financial Funding three-point shooting contest
- 8 p.m.: Hamilton Heights vs. McCallie