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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / May 25.
  • Big Prep Matchups on Tap in ’09

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    Lance Stephenson versus Tamir Jackson

    Tristan Thompson against Michael Gilchrist

    Those delicious matchups will take place in early 2009 at a pair of prep matchups not to be missed.

    Stephenson and the three-time PSAL champion Lincoln Railsplitters will face Jackson and the St. Benedict’s Gray Bees in the Brian Doherty Classic on Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.

    Those two teams were supposed to square off last season, but the game never took place. Lance and Lincoln went on to win their third straight city championship, while Jackson and the Gray Bees finished 24-1 and ranked No. 2 behind St. Anthony of Jersey City in most national polls.

    In addition to Stephenson, Lincoln features James Padgett, a 6-8 power forward, who will sign his Letter of Intent with Maryland on Monday.

    St. Benedict’s features the Rice-bound Jackson, Pitt commit Lamar Patterson and Thompson, a Texas-bound junior.

    St. Benedict’s will also face Kevin Boyle’s St. Patrick team Feb. 2 at 7 o’clock at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

    A year ago, Samardo Samuels (now at Louisville) and Greg Echenique (now at Rutgers) handed it to the Celtics, 68-62, on the same floor.

    This year’s game will feature a slew of Division I talents. St. Patrick features North Carolina-bound guard Dexter Strickland and George Mason commit Paris Bennett, as well as super junior Kyrie Irving and Gilchrist, the sophomore sensation.

    By the looks of their schedule, Dan Hurley’s St. Benedict’s team is also planning to play in this inaugural ESPN/Nike National Invitational April 3-5 at Georgetown Prep in Washington, D.C.

    The tournament would include national powers that do not play state championships. Other teams being targeted include Oak Hill Academy, which has won six Super 25 titles; Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.); Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.), which was the national prep school runner-up last season and this year won’t include fifth-year players; and possibly the Washington and Baltimore Catholic League champions.

    “The event has the potential to someday determine a national champion,” Tony Dorado, national manager of high school basketball for Nike, told USA Today.

    Here are some key dates for the prep circuit:

    Dec. 11 – Lincoln vs. Putnam (Okla.) and Xavier Henry, at Oklahoma City (ESPN networks)

    Dec. 18-23City of Palms Classic featuring St. Patrick and Lincoln among others, Fort Myers, Fla.

    Dec. 20-21Tip-Off Classic featuring St. Benedict’s, Paterson Catholic and Plainfield, New Jersey

    Dec. 26-31Beach Ball Classic featuring Paterson Catholic and St. Patrick, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Dec. 27-31 — Jingle Bells Jubilee featuring Bishop Loughlin, Paterson Eastside, Paterson Kennedy, Linden, Passaic, Plainfield, St. Peter’s Prep, Monsignor Bonnor, at Paterson Catholic, N.J.

    Jan. 16-19 Spalding Hoophall Classic, Springfield, Mass.

    Jan. 19 – Hoophall Classic

    10 a.m. — St. Anthony vs. Putnam City,

    Noon — St. Benedict’s vs. Ari Stewart and Wheeler (Ga.)

    2 p.m. — Lincoln vs. LeFlore (Ala.) and DeMarcus Cousins, (ESPN)

    Jan. 17Dan Finn Classic, Jersey City

    Noon — Seton Hall Prep vs. St. Peter’s Prep

    1:30 — Colt’s Neck Girls vs. Shabazz

    4:30 — Trenton Catholic vs. Paterson Catholic

    6:15 — Linden vs. St. Benedict’s

    8 — Plainfield vs. St. Anthony

    Jan. 23 — PrimeTime Shootout at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

    5:00 PM – Immaculata (NJ) vs. St. Joseph’s (NJ)
    6:30 PM – Duncanville (TX) vs. LeFlore (Mobile, ALA)
    8:00 PM – Paterson Catholic (NJ) vs. Lincoln (Brooklyn,NY)
    9:30 PM – Plainfield (NJ) vs. Piscataway (NJ)

    Jan. 24 — Brian Doherty Classic, Newark, N.J.

    6:30 PM — Lincoln vs. St. Benedict’s

    Feb. 2 — St. Patrick vs. St. Benedict’s, 7 p.m. Rutgers Athletic Center

    Feb. 14 — Primetime Shootout at Sovereign Bank Arena –Trenton, N.J.

    10:30 AM – Our Savior New American (NY) vs. Life Center Academy (NJ)
    12:00 PM – Timber Creek (NJ) vs. St. Raymond’s (NY)
    1:30 PM – Bishop Loughlin (NJ) vs. Union (NJ)
    3:00 PM – Rice vs. Rancocas Valley (NJ)
    4:30 PM – Mountain State Academy (VW) vs. St. Benedict’s (NJ)
    6:00 PM – St. Anthony’s (NJ) vs. Hotchkiss School (CT)
    7:30 PM – Lincoln (Brooklyn, NY) vs. Westchester (CA)
    9:00 PM – St. Patrick’s (NJ) vs. Oak Hill Academy (VA)

    Feb. 15 — Primetime Shootout at Sovereign Bank Arena-Trenton, N.J.

    10:30 AM – Pennington Prep (NJ) vs. Montgomery (NJ)
    12:00 PM – Elizabeth (NJ) vs. Christ The King (NY)
    1:30 PM – Trenton Catholic (NJ) vs. Carmen Sol (PR)
    3:00 PM – Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs. Paterson Catholic (NJ)
    4:30 PM – Montrose Christian (MD) vs. Shabazz (NJ)
    6:00 PM – Trenton Catholic (Girls – NJ) vs. John F. Kennedy (Girls – NY)
    7:30 PM – Trenton Central vs. Nichols School (NY)
    9:00 PM – St. John Vianney (NJ) vs. North Hunterdon (NJ)

    April 3-5 — ESPN/Nike National Invitational, Washington, D.C.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.