COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Thousands gathered at the Schottenstein Center for a party with a purpose.

The second annual Classic for Columbus is being held Saturday and features some of the top basketball players from historically Black universities and Ohio’s traditional universities.

People cheered and danced, something event organizers said was everything they could ask for and more.

“It’s the energy,” said Jennifer Walton, a spokesperson for the Classic for Columbus. “I was very nervous today, just about how things were going to go, but once you get here and you feel, like, that community energy, you just can’t help but feel excited.”

The two teams – Ohio and HBCU – battled it out on the court, with the Ohio team picking up the win.

The mission of the whole event is to promote education, economic development, and raise money for scholarships.

NBC 4 is a sponsor of the event, and anchor Kerry Charles served as emcee.

The game is a great time for everyone, but for specially selected players, it’s also an opportunity for exposure with scouts and coaches in the audience. Eight players in last year’s game went on to play in the NBA.

One example of the doors the tournament can open is Devin Green, who attended Saturday’s event as an ambassador. Green played in the tournament in 2005, won MVP, and then went on to play 15 years in the NBA.

Green said he was proud to attend Saturday’s game and that the talent he saw looked amazing.

“In regard to being an athlete, all you can ask for is another opportunity to show your talent and I believe that’s what this platform is,” he said. “And for the guys that are on the HBCU team, they don’t get as much exposure, you know? This is another opportunity for them to play and get exposure nationwide.”

More than 6,000 tickets were sold for the event.