The ESPN RISE National High School Invitational will be held April 1-3 at Coppin State University in Baltimore, according to a press release distributed by ESPN RISE and the Paragon Marketing Group on Thursday.
The boys’ field will feature eight teams with 10 contests televised by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Four girls teams will also participate.
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) won the inaugural event, held last April at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Md. The Pilots, ranked No. 10 in this week’s MaxPreps.com Xcellent 25, are likely to earn a repeat bid.
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) and the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) have both granted permission to participate in the event to member schools.
Due to state association regulations and affiliations, the Invitational has been limited to independent schools and a small number of private schools belonging to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association until now. The inclusion of FHSAA members gives hundreds of public schools an opportunity to participate for the first time.
Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.), located just north of Orlando, stands the best chance of earning an invitation among Sunshine State public schools. The Wildcats, who are led by star junior Austin Rivers, are ranked No. 25 in this week’s ESPN Rise Fab 50. Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.), also a FHSAA school, is ranked No. 15.
Both schools will participate in the FHSAA Finals beginning Friday with semifinal play. A state title would greatly enhance their respective resumes.
The NCISAA could be represented by Christ School (Arden, N.C.), ranked No. 13 in the Fab 50 and No. 8 in MaxPreps.com’s Xcellent 25.
St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.), Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), Findlay Prep and Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) are all ranked in the top 20 nationally by both MaxPreps and ESPN and are strong candidates for the field.
All four boys quarterfinal games will be televised April 1 by ESPNU. The semifinals will move to ESPN 2 the next day and the championship game will be broadcast at 1:30 p.m. EST by ESPN.