President Barack Obama is a huge basketball fan, but when the high school national champions visit the White House in September, he may want to skip organizing a pick-up game unless he has been working overtime on a press-breaker.
Yates (Houston, Texas) head coach Greg Wise told Fox 26 in Houston on Thursday that the Lions have received an invitation to be honored by President Obama sometime in September, though the exact date has yet to be ironed out.
"This is going to be unbelievable and we are very excited," Wise told Fox.
Yates earned the No. 1 ranking on the strength of a 34-0 season highlighted by its second-straight Class 4A state title in Texas. Employing an ultra-aggressive full-court press and quick-shot offense, the Lions averaged 116.2 points per game – a national record – and topped the century mark in scoring in 15-straight games from late December to mid-February.
The Houston team won a pair of prestigious tournament titles in Hawaii and Alabama, beating teams from six states in a span of 13 days. The program will enter next season riding a 58-game winning streak.
MaxPreps.com was the first media outlet to push Yates to the No. 1 ranking, doing so Jan. 19.
The Lions' season wasn't without controversy as they posted a 135-point thrashing of Houston Lee on Jan. 5, sparking a debate about sportsmanship and running up the score.
More: My Fox Houston / Sam Khan, Houston Chronicle
From the school that brought you Deshaun Thomas
Head coach James Blackmon Sr. of Bishop Luers (Fort Wayne, Ind.) – the same school Ohio State-bound Deshaun Thomas just graduated from – is trying to keep rising expectations in check for his son, James Blackmon Jr.
Blackmon Jr. is a rising freshman who has already made a national name for himself on the middle school tournament and camp circuit. He is expected to be an immediate force for the Knights, but there will be an adjustment period according to this father.
"High school basketball is a challenge for any freshman," James Blackmon Sr. told the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. "James is really talented. I think he needs to come in and just adjust to high school. High school is a lot different.
"Adjusting to high school basketball is going to be different than playing middle school or AAU."
Thomas, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, finished as Indiana's No. 3 all-time scorer with 3,018 points. He helped Bishop Luers win a pair of Class 2A state titles during his four-year run with the program.
The 2009-10 roster included six freshmen and sophomores, so with Blackmon Jr. added to the mix the Knights could be poised for a big run. Remember the name.
Former Wisconsin high school basketball star Kipp Christianson is attempting to find success in a new area of "athletics" under a new name.
As "Eli Cottonwood" the 7-footer from River Falls (River Falls, Wis.) is featured on WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) NXT, which is sort of Triple-A baseball for professional wrestling.
Christianson/Cottonwood played basketball for a year at Arizona State before finishing his college career at St. John's in Minnesota.