Sunday, January 17, 2010

High School Heavyweights on ESPNU Tomorrow

Findlay Prep, Oak Hill Academy, St. Patrick’s and St. Benedict’s headline event

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the high school teams for its 9th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic, presented by Big Y World Class Markets, to be held at Springfield College’s Blake Arena from January 15-18 during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The top five teams from last year’s final ESPN RISE Fab 50 rankings will headline the participants including No. 1 Findlay College Prep (Hendersonville, NV), No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA), No. 3 St. Patrick High School (Elizabeth, NJ), No. 4 Westchester High School (Los Angeles, CA) and No.5 St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, NJ).

Over 45 teams – representing 16 states and the District of Columbia – will be competing this year in the tournament’s largest field. Numerous games from the 2010 Spalding Hoophall Classic will be broadcast live via national television outlets, regional television outlets and online distribution. Information on these broadcasts will be available shortly.

Other legendary programs scheduled to participate include St. Anthony High School (Jersey City, NJ), Bishop O’Connell High School (Arlington, VA), DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, MD), Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA), Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, PA) and Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC).

“In the eight years of the Spalding Hoophall Classic, we have been fortunate to have featured many future stars and elite programs in high school basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “This year’s field is no different, as we will once again showcase the top talent in the country with Springfield and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as our platform.”

Recent alumni of the Spalding Hoophall Classic include last year’s top-two rates graduating seniors Xavier Henry (Oklahoma City, OK/Kansas) and Derrick Favors (Atlanta, GA/Georgia Tech), as well as current NBA players Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Jerryd Bayless (Portland Trailblazers), Michael Beasley (Miami Heat), JR Smith (Denver Nuggets), Brandon Rush (Indiana Pacers), Donte Greene (Sacramento Kings) and O.J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies).

The 2010 event will also feature numerous ESPNU Top 100 players including top 10 stars Jared Sullinger (Northland/Columbus, OH), Kyrie Irving (St. Patrick’s/Elizabeth, NJ), Tobias Harris (Half Hallow/Brookville, NY) and Josh Smith (Kentwood/Kentwood, WA) as well as top juniors Michael Gilchrist (St. Patrick’s/Elizabeth, NJ) and Austin Rivers (Winter Park/Orlando, FL).

“Spalding is honored to be a partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame and the title sponsor of the Hoophall Classic, the top high school basketball invitational in the country,” said Spalding representative, Gary Barfield. “We are proud to be associated with the top teams in the country.” In addition to the game, Spalding also sponsors the Spalding Skills Challenge. The Skills Challenge features three events including the Spalding Half-Court Hustle, Spalding 3-Point Shootout and the Spalding Slam Dunk Contest at Blake Arena on Saturday, January 16th. An associated youth tournament, Junior Hoophall Classic, will also debut this year, with details located at