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Wednesday / September 19.
  • Geico High School Nationals Teams Announced

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    The GEICO High School Basketball Nationals (formerly DICK’S Nationals) returns to New York City for the fifth consecutive year, and tenth season overall. Featuring the best high school basketball talent in the country, this year’s pool will include seven total state champions.

    In the boys field, seven of the top eleven ranked teams in the nation will participate, including the top four. The independent schools invited are all past winners and include Montverde Academy (Fla.), Oak Hill (Va.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), and 2017 champion La Lumiere (Ind.).  The other four boys teams in the field all won their respective state championships and include University School (Fla.), Shadow Mountain (Ariz.), Garfield (Wash.) and Lone Peak (Ut.).

    The three-day, single-elimination tournament begins Thursday, March 29, at noon ET with the boys quarterfinals on ESPNU, and continues on Friday, March 30, with the girls semifinals (11 a.m. & 1 p.m., ESPNU) and boys semifinals (3 p.m. & 5 p.m., ESPN2). The tournament culminates on Saturday, March 31, with the girls championship (10 a.m.,ESPN2) and the boys championship game (noon, ESPN).

    Six McDonald’s All-American representatives will participate in the tournament, including: R.J. Barrett (Montverde), David McCormack (Oak Hill), Bol Bol (Findlay Prep), and Keldon Johnson (Oak Hill) for the boys; Jazmine Massengill and Elizabeth Balogun of Hamilton Heights for the girls.

    Tickets are available now at geicohoops.com. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

    To be eligible for the tournament, participating schools must be a four-year high school, independent or public, and have their respective governing body’s permission to participate. Tournament teams are chosen by a selection committee.

    2018 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Boys Teams
    Team rankings per USA Today High School Sports; Player rankings per ESPN 100 (Class of 2018), ESPN 60 (Class of 2019) and ESPN 25 (Class of 2020)

    School (State)

    2017-2018 Record

    No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.)

    32-0

    No. 2 University School (Fla.)

    34-1

    No. 3 Findlay Prep (Nev.)

    31-4

    No. 4 Shadow Mountain (Ariz.)

    25-1

    No. 7 La Lumiere School (Ind.)

    23-3

    No. 11 Garfield HS (Wash.)

    28-1

    No. 25 Lone Peak High School (Ariz.)

    23-3

    Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

    40-1

     

    Montverde Academy (Fla.)

    Tournament History: Eighth appearance; Champions 2013, 2014 & 2015 (Runner-up in 2010, 2012. 2017)

    Coach: Kevin Boyle

    Ranked Players: No. 1 Sr. R.J. Barrett; No. 30 Sr. Andrew Nembhard; No. 41 Sr. Mike Devoe; No. 52 Sr. Filip Petrusev; No. 27 Jr. Balsa Koprivica; No. 28 Jr. Makhi Mitchell

    Notes: Montverde is the most successful program in GEICO Nationals tournament history, having won three titles and making it to the finals five of the last six seasons. They enter the tournament undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally. Notable Montverde alumni who have participated in the tournament include current NBA players Joel Embiid, D’Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons.

    NSU University School (Fla.)

    Tournament History: First appearance

    Coach: Adrian Sosa

    Ranked Players: No. 2 Jr. Vernon Carey Jr.; No. 5 Soph. Scottie Barnes

    Notes: The Sharks won 34 games this season on their way to an FHSAA 5A state title. Their single loss came against national power Oak Hill Academy. Impressive wins came against Top 25 teams Mater Dei (Ca.), McEachern (Ga.) and No. 6 Memphis East (Tenn.). University School enters their first GEICO Nationals with a No. 2 national ranking.

    Findlay Prep (Nev.)

    Tournament History: Tenth appearance; Champions 2009, 2010 & 2012
    Coach: Paul Washington
    Ranked Players: No. 4 Bol Bol

    Notes: Findlay Prep is the only team to appear in this tournament during all 10 years of its existence. They also tie Montverde with three titles. This season the Pilots are led by Oregon commit Bol Bol, the son of the tallest player in NBA history, Manute Bol. Findlay alums who have participated in the tournament include current NBA players Avery Bradley, Corey Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Kelly Oubre. Notable games include wins over No. 4 Shadow Mountain (AZ), #16 Paul VI (VA) and #23 Bishop Gorman (NV).

     

    La Lumiere School (Ind.)

    Tournament History: Sixth appearance; Champions in 2017 (Runner-up in 2016)

    Coach: Pat Holmes

    Ranked Players: No. 99 Sr. Tyger Campbell; No. 13 Jr. Isaiah Stewart

    Notes: After an overtime tip-in buzzer-beater loss to Oak Hill in the 2016 finals, La Lumiere broke through and won their first title last year, defeating Montverde Academy in the finals. First year Head Coach Pat Holmes took over for Shane Heirman, who became an Assistant Coach at DePaul. Despite losing two McDonald’s All-Americans from 2017, La Lumiere maintained a 23-3 record on the way to a No. 7 national ranking with key wins over No. 9 Imhotep Charter (PA) and No. 14 Brentwood Academy (TN)

     

    Shadow Mountain (Ariz.)

    Tournament History: Second appearance

    Coach: Mike Bibby

    Notes: Shadow Mountain returns for their second straight tournament invite, after winning the AIA 4A State Championship. This was the third state title in a row for Bibby and the sixth overall for the school. Bibby played for Shadow Mountain in the mid-nineties before going on to be an All-American at the University of Arizona and the 2nd overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft. The Matadors only loss was to No. 3 Findlay Prep, and the average margin of victory in their three playoff games leading up to the state finals was over 30 points.

     

    Garfield High School (Wash.)

    Tournament History: First appearance

    Coach: Brandon Roy

    Ranked Players: No. 79 Sr. J’Raan Brooks; No. 45 Jr. P.J. Fuller

    Notes: Brandon Roy made the return to his alma mater this season, Garfield, the school that holds the most state titles in the history of Washington high school basketball with 14. Although Roy was not able to win a title during his playing days for the Bulldogs over fifteen years ago, he was able to bring one home this season as coach of the WIAA 3A state champions. Garfield only has one loss on the season, and they enter their first GEICO Nationals ranked No. 11 nationally.

    Lone Peak High School (Ut.)

    Tournament History: First appearance

    Coach: David Evans

    Notes: Despite the school only existing for twenty years, Lone Peak has an incredible nine Utah state championships, which includes an impressive string of eight in the past ten years, as well as a state record four championships in row from 2011-2014. Their only three losses this season came against teams ranked in the USA Today HS Super 25 Expert Rankings. 2016 Lone Peak graduate Frank Jackson went on to play for Duke and is currently with the New Orleans Pelicans.  

     

    Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

    Tournament History: Ninth appearance; Champion 2016 (Runner-up in 2009, 2011, 2014 & 2015)

    Coach: Steve Smith

    Ranked Players: No. 6 Sr. Keldon Johnson; No. 28 Sr. David McCormack; No. 31 Sr. Will Richardson; No. 90 Sr. Keyontae Johnson

    Notes: Oak Hill is quite possibly the most decorated high school basketball program in history; this includes five GEICO Nationals finals appearances and one title. The Oak Hill alumni list is filled with NBA players and All-Stars including Carmelo Anthony, Steve Blake, Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Rajon Rando, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and Rod Strickland. Oak Hill played a 41-game schedule this season with key wins against preseason Super 25 teams Mater Dei (CA), IMG Academy (FL) and Webster Groves (MO). In addition, they defeated No. 2 University School (FL), No. 7 La Lumiere (IN) and No. 25 Lone Peak (UT).

    Written by

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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.