New Jersey high school basketball teams prohibited from traveling out of state without a waiver | Zagsblog
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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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Saturday / December 5.
  • New Jersey high school basketball teams prohibited from traveling out of state without a waiver

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    New Jersey high school basketball teams will be prohibited from traveling out of state this season unless they obtain a waiver due to the pandemic, according to new guidelines established by the NJSIAA.

    Coaches from several top boys programs said they planned to apply for waivers to play in out-of-state events.

    “My plan is to submit for the waivers, whatever that process is, and do our best to get out of state,” one high-profile boys basketball coach said.

    New Jersey’s top teams have a long tradition of traveling to out-of-state events like the City of Palms Classic, Slam Dunk to the Beach and Hoophall Classic, among others. Roselle Catholic, Camden, Rutgers Prep, Blair Academy and Don Bosco Prep were all scheduled this year for the Hoophall Classic over MLK Weekend in Springfield, Mass.

    The new state regulations announced also call for no full state tournaments and no Tournament of Champions, which features the six group winners in a winner-take-all event. Instead, only County and State Sectional events will be permitted. There was no TOC in 2020 due to the pandemic.

    The Metro Classic remains the biggest in-state event in New Jersey and last year featured Bronny James and Sierra Canyon (CA) and Cade Cunningham and Montverde (FL) Academy, among others. It remains unclear if out-of-state teams will be permitted at this year’s event slated for Feb. 5-7 at the RWJ Barnabas Health Center in Toms River, N.J. The event may have to be scaled down to feature a limited number of teams this year, and it’s unclear if fans would be permitted.

    “That will be the biggest event now,” a second high school coach said. “Only issue will be if Jersey has quarantine on out-of-state teams coming into the state.”

    High school basketball practices begin Dec. 3, with games on Dec. 21.

    New Jersey has postponed indoor fall sports — girls volleyball and gymnastics.

    “We’re extremely appreciative of the support and guidance from Governor Phil Murphy, Senator Paul Sarlo and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly,” NJSIAA COO Colleen Maguire said in a statement, per NJ.com. “Our kids need structured activity, and we believe that education-based high school sports is the best way to provide it. Giving teenagers extra motivation to stay COVID-free promotes healthy outcomes for everyone.”

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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.