There are many great basketball tournaments in Arizona during the month of December that spotlight some of the best prospects not just in the state but also the nation.
This weekend, the Hoop Hall Classic at Grand Canyon University is going to be one of those events. There are four games being played both on Friday and Saturday at the GCU Arena
Friday at 4pm to kick-off the weekend will be an AZ matchup, which is considered the seventh place game, between Westview and Millennium. The Westview Knights are lead by their senior power forward Andre Adams who so far is averaging 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season. He holds offers from ASU, Boise State, Colorado, UNLV, USC and Washington.
At 5:30, we see our first out of state matchup between the Nevada’s Bishop Gorman and Orange Lutheran from California which will spotlight great players of the 2015 class. Gorman is lead by the number two and six ranked centers in the nation for 2015 according to Scout.com. 6-11 Stephen Zimmerman who holds 12 offers which include Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and UCLA and also 6-9 Chase Jeter who currently holds 11 offers which consist of Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Louisville and UCLA. Juniors C.J. Hankins and Rodgers Printup both average double digit points for Orange Lutheran.
7:00 on friday night will feature one of the top high school hoop factories in the US, Oak Hill Academy from Virginia, taking on Yates high school from Houston, Texas. Oak Hill alums include Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Brandon Jennings, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse just to name a few. This years’ team includes a star studded senior class consisted of twin small forwards Caleb and Cody Martin who are both committed to NC State and point guard Shelton Mitchell who is committed to Wake Forrest. Oak Hill also has four-star power forward of the 2015 class, Trevor Manuel who has offers from Michigan State, Oregon and Providence. Conversely, Yates has twin towers down low in three-star power forward Melvin Smith who holds eight offers which include Baylor, UConn and Memphis as well as J.C. Washington who is committed to the University of Houston.
The final game on friday is considered the fifth place game for the Arizona schools involved between Mesquite and Desert Mountain. The Wolves, now being coached by former Detroit coaching legend Kurt Keener, return one of the top point guards in the state in senior Rolando Rhymes who is off to a great start in 2013 averaging 16 points per game. Fellow senior Will Goff adds 15 a night as well. The Wildcats are led by junior Jordan Lee who is averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
The first matchup on Saturday from GCU Arena is the third place game between Gilbert and Chaparral. Gilbert had a strong run last season and return a few of their top performers. Senior guard Anthony Bryant is averaging over 16 points and four assists per game and junior center Truman Moore is a lot to handle down low. Chaparral is stacked with talent despite losing two great seniors Eric Conklin and Joe Boyd from a season ago. The Firebirds are now led by sharp shooting junior Kenzo Nudo who holds one offer from Northern Arizona.
At 4pm, Yates hits the floor for the second time in two days to take on Mater Dei high school from Southern California. Mater Dei has many famous basketball alumni as well which includes a dear son for Arizona Wildcat faithful, Miles Simon. This keep should keep interest in the eyes of Wildcat fans as one of their prized gems of the 2014 recruiting class, Stanley Johnson will hit the GCU floor. Johnson is averaging a blistering 32 points and ten rebounds per game so far in his senior season. It will be a great opportunity for Arizona fans in the valley to someone who expects to be a future star in Tucson.
At 5:30pm, Oak Hill and Bishop Gorman take the floor again to face off against one another. Then the final game of the weekend at 7pm is considered the championship game between Shadow Mountain and Corona del Sol. This will be as good of a test that there will be all season for the young and talented Matadors led by star sophomores Michael Bibby Jr. and Carlos Johnson. The two-time defending champion Aztecs are as talented as ever with Oregon commit Casey Benson, Arizona State commit Connor MacDougall and New Mexico commit, Dane Kuiper. The Aztecs are favored to make it a three-peat this season and it should be a great matchup between two teams that have loads of talent. And keep an eye out for two of the best freshman in Arizona with Shadow’s Darian Spottsville and Corona’s Alex Barcello.
If you are a hoop-a-holic like I am, make your way out to GCU Arena on friday and saturday to get your chance to say “I remember when I saw that kid play in high school.”