SPRINGFIELD, MA – Expanding to five days with 46 teams in its 11th year, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic, presented by Big Y World Class Markets, will once again be held at Springfield College’s Blake Arena from January 12-16 during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The nationally renowned event will showcase the top high school basketball teams from across the nation. This year’s exciting matchups include seven of the top nine teams from the ESPN FAB 50 rankings including No 1. Simeon Career Academy (Chicago, IL), No. 2 Miller Grove High School (Lithonia, GA), No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA), No. 6 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA), No. 7 Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, NV), No. 8. Findlay College Prep (Henderson, NV) and No. 9 St. Anthony High School (Jersey City, NJ), coached by Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Hurley, Sr.
Other legendary programs scheduled to participate include No. 13 DeMatha Catholic High School (Hyattsville, MD), No. 19 Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC) and No. 24 Christ the King High School (Middle Village, NY).
The 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic continues its tradition of hosting talented players by featuring more than 25 of the current ESPNU Top 100 in the class of 2012, including No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad (Bishop Gorman High School/Las Vegas, NV), No. 2 Mitch McGary (Brewster Academy/Wolfeboro,NH), No. 4 Brandon Ashley (Findlay Prep/Henderson, NV), No. 5 Kyle Anderson (St. Anthony High School/Jersey City, NJ), No. 6 Kaleb Tarczewski (St. Mark’s School/Southborough, MA), No. 7 Anthony Bennett (Findlay College Prep/Henderson, NV), No. 9 Grant Jerrett (LaVerne Lutheran/LaVerne, CA) as well as the top three ESPNU 2013 standouts Jabari Parker (Simeon Career Academy/Chicago, IL), Nerlens Noel (Tilton High School/Tilton, NH) and Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian/Plano, TX).
On Friday night, the nation’s No. 1 girls recruit, Breanna Stewart, will lead Cicero-North against West Springfield High School. Stewart has committed to play for UConn next year.
“This year’s Basketball Hall of Fame Spalding Hoophall Classic will once again bring the top high school teams and players to Springfield for the year’s most exciting weekend of prep basketball,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “Over the last 10 years we have witnessed some of the greatest young stars step onto the national stage at our event and we look forward to seeing another generation this January.”
Last year’s games were highlighted by 12 McDonald’s All-American selections including Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Michael Gilchrist (Kentucky), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Shannon Scott (Ohio State) and Quinn Cook (Duke). Spalding Hoophall Classic alumni who made their mark in this year’s 2011 NBA draft include No. 1 draft pick Kyrie Irving (Cleveland), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Josh Selby (Memphis), Cory Joseph (San Antonio), and Tobias Harris (Milwaukee).
“Spalding is proud to partner with the Basketball Hall of Fame to support the annual Hoophall Classic, both of which epitomize the elite level of basketball that our brand strives for,” said Spalding representative, Gary Barfield. “Spalding is a long time partner of the Hall of Fame and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”
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 Sunday, January 15th. An associated youth tournament, Junior Hoophall Classic, will return this year with details located at www.basketbull.org.
MassLive.com, the online home of The Republican, will provide extensive coverage of the 2012 Hoophall Classic including game stories, videos, stats, photos and player interviews. Log on to MassLive.com/HoophallClassic for complete coverage.
The Basketball Hall of Fame’s Spalding Hoophall Classic is presented by Big Y World Class Markets, with premium sponsorship from Northeast Utilities. Supporting sponsors for the Hoophall Classic are NIKE, MassMutual Financial Group and Springfield College.
Several games along with the skills challenge from the 2012 Spalding Hoophall Classic will be televised nationally; broadcast information will be available soon.
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $10 for youth/students (18 and under). All patrons that present a Big Y World Class Market Savings Card will receive a $1 discount on each ticket purchased. For more information, please visit the official web site, www.thehoophallclassic.com.