10th annual Herren Shootout is this weekend — here are the big names expected to play

FALL RIVER — This is a special homecoming.

Two years ago, Durfee basketball fans saw then freshman Joson Sanon show he more than belonged playing at the varsity level. That was his last season as a Hilltopper. He subsequently transferred to Rockingham Vermont Academy where his stature and game have grown, grown and grown.

Locals fans can check out exactly what Sanon, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, brings to the court this weekend at the 10th annual Herren Shootout.

Featuring middle school through post-high players, male and female, the Herren Shootout is set for this Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26. Opening day (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) will be at Longplex in Tiverton.

The marquee events, including the two Herren All Stars vs. Boston Amateur Basketball Club games, will be held Sunday at the Fall River Girls' and Boys' Club.

Top boys basketball:Who was Fall River's best-ever high school basketball player? The answer may surprise you

Who is Joson Sanon?

Sunday's slate (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) heats up fast, with the BABC vs. Herren All Stars underclassmen game at noon, immediately followed by the BABC vs. Herrens upperclassmen (no college players) game. Sanon, whose family lives in Fall River, will suit up for the Herren All Stars upperclassmen. has Sanon No. 15 on its Class of 2025 Industry Top 25 Basketball Recruits list. In a interview on, Sanon said he has offers from Marquette, PC, UMass, Boston College and Bryant. In an editor's note, On3 added that Iowa offered after the aforementioned interview.

“He's a major prospect, for sure,” said BABC founder Leo Papile, who coached both Chris Herrens, father and son.

Another Herren carrying on family's winning tradition

On the subject Herrens, the youngest, Drew Herren, will be playing in his uncle Mike Herren's popular basketball event. Following upperclassmen game will be the Southeastern Massachusetts vs. Rhode Island middle school boys' showdown.

“That's going to be a very, very hotly competitive game,” said Mike Herren, the Shootout's founder/director/promoter. “That's the game I'm looking forward to the most.”

Drew Herren, younger son of Durfee High's career scoring leader and former NBA player Chris Herren, will play for Rhode Island. He just helped Portsmouth Middle School to a third straight Rhode Island middle school championship.

For three-and-a-half decades, curious hoops fans from Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond have shown up to watch a Herren play, and Mike Herren said his nephew is worth watching.

“I've never seen a kid with his intensity and work ethic during games and in practice in my life,” Mike said. “He's so fast, he's so intense, it'll blow your mind.”

Drew's brother Chris, a former D1 player, competed in the Shootout last decade.

Mike Herren said the boys' middle school game will be followed by a girls' all star game. Somewhere in the midst of these four games, he said, will be a 3-point shooting contest.

Top girls basketball:Who were the all-time best Fall River area girls basketball players? It's hard to choose

Why Mike Herren started the Shootout

Mike Herren said he started the Shootout to show that top players from Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island can compete with elite AAU programs, such as national power BABC. He said the locals have done just that, to the surprise of some.

Herren said that this year, he had to say no to close to 100 teams who wanted to be part of the Shootout.

Among the Herren Shootot alumni are, he said, at least five current or former NBA players, that number including Portsmouth's Cole Swider (Lakers) and Bonzie Colson (former Milwaukee Buck; now playing in Israel). Herren said the number of D1 college players from the Shootout is 30 plus and the college scholarship list around 50.

Shootout alum Tyler Kolek, an All American and Big East Conference Player of the Year, is the starting point guard for East Regional No. 2 seed Marquette. He's from Cumberland, R.I. and smoked Providence College for 29 points just before Christmas.

Herren said the elite games in the Shootout feature very serious basketball. End-to-end pressure basketball with no guaranteed playing time and no smiling, you-alley-oop-dunk-then-I'll-alley-oop-dunk mentality.

Durfee's Davonte Stewart.
Durfee's Davonte Stewart.

In the local name dropping category for the '23 Shootout there are Davonte Stewart (Durfee), Jeyden Espinal (Durfee), Eruc Lucas (Durfee), Brendan McDonald (Somerset Berkley Regional), Max Finlaw (SBR), and Jahmier Stephenson (Bishop Connolly) in the underclassmen game.

Durfee’s Jeyden Espinal guards Berkley’s Brendan McDonald during a game this past season.
Durfee’s Jeyden Espinal guards Berkley’s Brendan McDonald during a game this past season.

The upperclassmen game Herren roster includes, in addition to Sanon, former SBR star Ethan Dias and New Bedford's Elijah Goodine (St. Andrew's School). The Herren All Stars will also feature top players from high school state finalist Wareham and state semifinalist Old Rochester Regional.

For more information on the Shootout and any updates, visit (17) Mike Herren | Facebook.

This article originally appeared on The Herald News: Herren Shootout: 10th annual basketball show draws Sanon, Drew Herren