DURHAM, N.C. -- The Tournament of Stars (TOS) kicks off Wednesday, June 22, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C. The event features the top 18U players in the country and serves as USA Baseball's selection vehicle for its 18U National Team.

The TOS is made up of eight teams and 144 players. Athletes arrive in Cary Tuesday evening for orientation, and games begin Wednesday morning at the NTC. Players will showcase their talents for USA Baseball coaches and task force members with the hope of being selected for the 18U National Team Trials, which will be held in Cary immediately following the TOS, June 27-July 2.

Seven of USA Baseball's National Member Organizations (AABC, American Legion, Babe Ruth, Dixie, NABF, PONY, and RBI) are represented in the event, and the federation's at-large Stars team makes up the eighth club. The TOS is widely considered the premier event for the 18U player, as it annually draws more than 150 collegiate and professional scouts.

Seven of the last 11 No. 1 overall MLB First-Year Player Draft selections are alumni of the TOS, and prominent former players currently in the big leagues include Joe Mauer ('01), Andrew McCutchen ('04) and Mark Teixeira ('98). Recent alums of the TOS include 2011 draft picks Bubba Starling (No. 5 overall), Francisco Lindor (No. 8 overall), Blake Swihart (No. 26 overall) and Henry Owens (No. 36 overall).

For more information about the 2011 TOS and media credential opportunities in Cary, please contact Malcolm Gray or Cody Wilcoxson.

A complete TOS schedule and rosters are now available online.