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.
Montverde, Findlay Prep, Huntington Prep, Oak Hill Headline Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament
While the eyes of the college basketball world will turn this week to the Final Four in North Texas, many of the future stars of college hoops will be on display in New York City.
The DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament (formerly the National High School Invitational) features seven of the top eight ranked boys teams by USA Today.
The boys field includes defending NHSI Champion and No. 1-ranked Montverde Academy (FL), coached by former St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle, as well as three different 2014 State Champions: Northside Christian Academy from North Carolina, The Sagemont School from Florida and Rainier Beach High School from Washington.
The three day, single elimination tournament begins Thursday, and concludes with the crowning of a boys and girls champion on Saturday. The entire tournament will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.
Three McDonald’s All- Americans will be playing in the tournament, Ohio State-bound D’Angelo Russell from Montverde Academy, Kansas pledge Kelly Oubre Jr. from Findlay Prep (NV) and UNLV commit Rashad Vaughn rom Findlay Prep.
ESPNU begins television coverage of the tournament on Thursday at noon with live telecasts of all four boys quarterfinal games from Christ the King High School in Queens, N.Y. On Friday at 10:30 a.m., television coverage continues from Christ the King High School with girls (ESPNU) and boys (ESPN2) semifinal games. On Saturday, competition shifts to Madison Square Garden where the boys championship will be shown live at noon on ESPN.
Follow John Pavia on Twitter for continued coverage of the event and check back for daily updates on ZAGSBLOG.com.
Here is a list of the participating teams with a breakdown, thanks to the folks at DICK’s Sporting Goods:
Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL) 25-0 1
Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, WA) 29-0 3
Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte, NC) 28-1 4
Huntington Prep (Huntington, WV) 27-4 5
La Lumiere School (La Porte, IN) 23-2 6
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA) 37-3 7
Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV) 30-4 8
The Sagemont School (Weston, FL) 33-0 18
Montverde Academy Tournament History: Fourth appearance – Runner-Up 2010 and 2012. Champions 2013
Coach: Kevin Boyle
ESPN Ranked Players: D’Angelo Russell, SG – #13 on ESPN 100, Justin Bibbs, SG – #98 on ESPN 100, Ben Simmons, PF – #3 on ESPN 60, Noah Dickerson, C – #33 on ESPN 60,
Notes: Montverde is looking to defend their DICK’S High School National Tournament Championship as they will enter the tournament 25-0 and ranked #1 by USA Today. Key wins this season vs. Paul VI (VA), Lincoln (NY), Northside Christian (NC) and St. Joseph (NJ). The trip to New York marks a homecoming for Kevin Boyle as he coached St. Patrick (NJ) to five NJSIAA Tournament of Champions victories.
Rainier Beach Tournament History: First invite
Coach: Mike Bethea
ESPN Ranked Players: Shaqquan Aaron, SF – #33 on ESPN 100
Notes: Rainier Beach, the three-time defending WIAA State Champions will be the first team from the state of Washington to compete in the tournament. Coach Bethea led his team to an undefeated season including wins over nationally ranked Bishop Gorman (NV) and Whitney Young (IL) as Rainier Beach won the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational Tournament. Current NBA players Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford played at Rainier Beach.
Northside Christian Academy Tournament History: First invite
Coach: Byron Dinkins
Notes: Northside Christian won the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A State Championship. With a 28-1 record and a #4 national ranking, Northside Christian will need to make the championship game to avenge their only loss of the season, which was to Montverde in the finals of the Wild Wings Hoops Classic in December. Notable wins this seasonvs. Wesleyan Christian (NC), Arlington Country Day (FL) and Lincoln (NY).
Huntington Prep Tournament History: First invite
Coach: Rob Fulford
ESPN Ranked Players: JaQuan Lyle, PG – #41 on ESPN 100, Josh Perkins. PG – #56 on ESPN 100, Jalen Lindsey, SF – #83 on ESPN 100, Thomas Bryant, PF – #14 on ESPN 60, Montaque Gill-Ceasar, SF #18 on ESPN 60 Notes: Huntington Prep has quickly become one of the premier basketball programs in the country. Despite losing Andrew Wiggins, the #1 player on the ESPN 100 list last year who went on to star for Kansas, Huntington Prep is the #5 ranked team in the country. Key wins this season vs. Our Savior New American (NY) and Prime Prep (TX)
La Lumiere School Tournament History: Third appearance (2012, 2013 previously)
Coach: Alan Huss
ESPN Ranked Player: Jalen Coleman, SG – #58 on ESPN 60
Notes: La Lumiere has become an elite program in the basketball crazy state of Indiana and in recent years, a national power. With a 23-2 record and a #6 national ranking, they will look to break through and secure their first victory in a DICK’S High School National Tournament game. Key wins this season vs. Our Savior New American (NY) and Prime Prep (TX)
Oak Hill Academy Tournament History: Fifth appearance (Runner-Up in 2009 and 2011)
Coach: Steve Smith
ESPN Ranked Players: Caleb Martin, SF – #62 on ESPN 100, Trevor Manual, PF – #50 on ESPN 60
Notes: Oak Hill is a historically rich basketball program that can lay claim to eight “Mythical” National Championships. Their alumni include Jerry Stackhouse, Rajon Rando, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. With a 37-3 record and #7 national ranking, they will look to win their first DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament after close Championship game losses in 2009 and 2011.
Findlay PrepTournament History: Sixth appearance – Champions 2009, 2010, 2012.
Coach: Jerome Williams
ESPN Ranked Players: Kelly Oubre, SF – #11 on ESPN 100, Rashad Vaughn, SG – #18 on ESPN 100, Craig Victor, PF – #37 on ESPN 100, Horace Spencer, PF – #44 on ESPN 60, Justin Jackson, SF – #11 on ESPN 25, Derryck Thornton, PG – #24 on ESPN 25
Notes: Findlay Prep is the only team to be invited to all six DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournaments and is the most decorated team in the events history, winning three of the previous five. With a 30-4 record and #8 national ranking first year head coach Jerome Williams will look to duplicate the tremendous success of his predecessors. Findlay alums who participated in the Tournament include NBA Players Tristan Thompson, Avery Bradley, Corey Joseph and Anthony Bennett along with PAC-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson of Arizona.
Sagemont Tournament History: First invite
Coach: Adam Ross
Standout Players: GG Goloman, PF (Committed to UCLA), Prince Ali, SG – class of 2015 (Committed to UConn)
Notes:.The Sagemont School won the Florida High School Athletic Association 3A State Championship. With a 33-0 undefeated season, Sagemont gained national attention by receiving top ten rankings in many national polls. Key wins vs. Miami Norland and Providence School (Jacksonville, FL).
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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.