Teams from all four corners of the country will assemble along the interstate 5 corridor on the day after Christmas to play in the 24th annual Under Armour Holiday Classic in five divisions. Teams from the northwest (Wasilla, AK), southwest (Honolulu, HI), northeast (Brookyln, NY) and southeast (Ludowici, GA) will each make the longest trips from each corner of the country. And there is one team from Canada, Semaihmoo (British Columbia).
Major metropolitan areas represented include Los Angeles/Orange County, Bay Area, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia and Honolulu. Seven of the top ten ranked (preseason) teams from San Diego are participating including the top three ranked teams.
Top players to play in the four-day tournament include 6-6 shooting forward Theo Pinson ’14 from Wesleyan Christian (High Point, NC) who will play at North Carolina next year, 5-8 point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright ’14 from Loyola (Los Angeles, CA) who will play at Arizona and his teammate, 6-11 center Thomas Welsh ’14 of Loyola chose UCLA.
One of the top juniors in the country, 6-9 power forward Ivan Rabb ’15 of Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA) is wanted by Arizona, Cal, UConn, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, NC State, UCLA and UNLV.
Some teams of note in the National Division, listed alphabetically:
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA) is the top ranked team from the northern half of the state and preseason top five state ranked team. Last year the Dragons won the North Coast section division III title and return four starters.
Faith Baptist Christian (Ludowici, GA) is a prep school that plays a national schedule. The Crusaders feature a British import, 6-9 Connor Stuart '14, who played on the England U18 national team. The Crusaders are currently playing in the Tarkanian Classic at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas this week.
O’Dea (Seattle, WA) is the # 3 state ranked (Seattle Times) team in 3A and features Pacific signee, 6-9 forward Jacob Lampkin ’14.
Patrick School (Elizabeth, NJ) won the National Division in 2009. In 2012 the Catholic church closed the St. Patrick school for lack of enrollment but supporters reopened the school under a new name, Patrick School, and new management. The Celtics return with some of the best young guards in the new york/new jersey area, 6-3 sophomore Andre Wilson ’16, 6-1 freshman Jamir Harris ’17 and 6-4 freshman Marcus McCleary.
The Jersey school also has a freshman from Sudan, 6-10 Bul Bior Ajang. Patrick is ranked # 4 in New Jersey. Because New Jersey schools can only play three games in a tournament the Celtics get a first round bye.
St. Augustine of San Diego features SDSU-signee Trey Kell ’14. The Saints reached the finals last year in the National Division and are the defending state champions.
Host Torrey Pines suits up sophomore Brandon Cyrus ’16 who played for the Canadian U16 team over the summer and has been offered by Boston College.
Wesstown (West Chester, PA), which was established 1799, is believed to be the oldest continuously operating co-educational boarding school in the country. Located 25 miles west of Philadelphia the Quakers bring Maryland recruit Jared Nickens ’14.
And Westtown also has the # 1 ranked junior in Europe, Georgios “George” Papagiannis ’15. The 7-1 Greek import is playing his first year in the states and NBA scouts have been watching him since he was 14-years old and believe he is a high lottery pick. MaxPreps recently posted a spotlight article on the can’t miss big fella.
And finally Wesleyan Christian (High Point, NC) is the defending North Carolina state champion (Independent 3A). Along with previously mentioned North Carolina signee 6-6 wing Theo Pinson ’14, the Trojans also have point guard JaQuel Richmond ’14 who is headed to Houston next year and power forward Donovan Gilmore ’14 who will play at the College of Charleston.
One other teammate of Theo Pinson’s at Wesleyan Christian is one of the top sophomores in the country, 6-10 power forward Harry Giles ’16, but he will not play. Giles sustained an ACL and MCL injury in June playing for the USA U16 national team in Argentina and he is just starting his rehab. Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio St. are among the schools that have offered sophomore Harry Giles.
The tournament runs from Thursday, December 26 through Monday, December 30. There will be no games on Sunday because the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) does not allow for teams to play or practice on Sundays. So Sunday will be a popular day for out of town teams to visit the San Diego area.
Teams in the National Division:
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, CA)
Cantwell Sacred Heart (Montebello, CA)
Centennial (Corona, CA)
Chino Hills (CA)
Faith Baptist Christian Academy (Ludowici, GA)
Loyola (Los Angeles, CA)
Mayfair (Lakewood, CA)
Newark Memorial (Newark, CA)
O’Dea (Seattle, WA)
Patrick (Elizabeth, NJ)
Sheldon (Sacramento, CA)
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA)
St. Augustine (San Diego, CA)
Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA)
Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, NC)
Westtown (West Chester, PA)
Day 1 at Torrey Pines
Thursday, December 26th
9:30 am Torrey Pines vs. San Ysidro (crossover game)
National Division 1st Round
N5 11:05 am Centennial vs. Cantwell Sacred Heart
N2 12:40 pm Sierra Canyon vs. Faith Baptist Christian
N6 2:15 pm St. Augustine vs. Chino Hills
N4 3:50 pm Newark Memorial vs. Westtown
N1 5:25 pm Sheldon vs. Loyola
N7 7:00 pm Mayfair vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy
N3 8:35 pm Bishop O’Dowd vs. O’Dea
(First round bye for Patrick, can only play 3 games)