Technically speaking, the "men's Final Four" is just the final two rounds in the NCAA basketball tournament; just a pair of games on one day, then a final game a couple of days later.
In reality, though, it's a major tourism event. From the massive Block Party in the French Quarter to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Convention in the Convention Center, to the actual games in the Superdome, the Final Four party spreads across the heart of the city and beyond.
On Friday night, the madness spread westward to the Alario Center, the New Orleans Hornets' practice facility, where the second annual American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships was held.
The event included three separate competitions -- a 3-point shooting contest for boys, a 3-point shooting contest for girls, and a slam dunk contest.
The girls 3-point shooting contest was doubly interesting for Vanderbilt fans because two signees in Vanderbilt's 2012 recruiting class, Morgan Batey and Jasmine Jenkins, were invited to participate.
Morgan Batey from Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, averaged a double double of 21 points and 11 rebounds in her senior season and was named the Class A Player of the year by Georgia Sports Writers Association.
Jasmine Jenkins from East Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia, averaged 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2 steals per game in her senior season and was named to the Class AA First team by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
The two future Dores have known each other since the beginning of last summer and have grown to be close friends since then.
The first competition of the night was the boys 3-point shooting contest, won by Phil Forte, who is headed to Oklahoma State. The girls 3-point shooting contest followed.
In the 3-point competition, five stations are positioned around the high school 3-point line. Each station has four orange balls plus one bonus ball (the "money ball") worth two points. Each player has 60 seconds to shoot as many balls as possible. Kari Korver, who signed with UCLA in the fall, won the girls contest.
After the 3-point competitions, the Slam Dunk competition followed.
The dunk contest was scored by official judges, but the fans and 3-point shooters weren't shy about sharing their opinions.
Both of the Vanderbilt signees will begin college life the first week in June when they come to Nashville to enroll in the first semester of summer school. Besides the advantage of summer workouts with the team, getting some of their freshman classwork out of the way early will lighten the load during the season.
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Photos copyright 2012 by Whitney D for VandyMania.com.
Vanderbilt signees Morgan Batey and Jasmine Jenkins traveled to New Orleans this weekend to participate in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Shooting Championship. Whitney D. shares some photos from the event.