Video: MLK basketball weekend preview
MaxPreps Basketball Editor Jordan Divens breaks down this weekend's action.
Star power will shine bright at the Spalding Hoophall Classic as more than two dozen 5-star prospects take the Blake Arena court in Springfield, Mass., over a busy Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
The premiere showcase event features 11 teams ranked in the MaxPreps Top 25 high school boys basketball rankings along with seven of the Top 10 prospects in the senior class, according to 247sports.
And along with the intriguing on-court storylines of the 19th edition of the Hoophall Classic, there could be some celebrity appearances as the sons of NBA legends LeBron James and Dwyane Wade along with the brother of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo all are in action.
National competition begins Saturday with a number of intriguing matchups headlined by showdowns between Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.), No. 10 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) vs. Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) and No. 12 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) taking on Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.).
The Bishop Gorman-Roselle Catholic matchup has tons of Top 25 intrigue as both teams have spent time in the rankings this season, and, with two losses each, a win would be a resume-booster.
Gonzaga looks to rebound from a tough start against a brutal early schedule. The Eagles are 11-5 but in a strong position to re-enter the rankings with a signature victory over the 10th-ranked Lakers.
Patrick School will be at full strength against No. 12 IMG Academy, as the Celtics are expected to gain the services of big men Adama Sanogo
and Bretner Mutombo
, who each sat out 30 days due to New Jersey transfer rules.
Sunday's highlights include a trio of matchups with big time rankings implications, as No. 5 Sunrise Christian Academy goes up against Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix), No. 10 La Lumiere takes on No. 15 Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) battles No. 12 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).
Montverde-IMG is Sunday's marquee match and a rematch of the City of Palms Classic title game won 63-55 by the Eagles on Dec. 23. The first meeting between the two high-powered programs was the Eagles only test this season, as the dominant group has defeated opponents by an average of over 40 points per contest this season.
The high-octane showdown features 15 prospects currently ranked in the top 100.
The top Hoophall Classic games are typically reserved for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and this year is no different as the day referred to as "Monster Monday" features five games involving ranked teams.
Monday's top games include a showdown between No. 7 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 16 Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.), No. 11 Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) vs. No. 14 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) and No. 3 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) vs. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas).
DeMatha vs. Rancho Christian matches two of the top big men in the senior class as top-ranked overall prospect Evan Mobley goes up against 7-foot-2 Michigan pledge Hunter Dickinson
. Both teams carry strong national resumes into the event.
Paul VI travels across the country after wrapping up play at the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions on Saturday night. The Panthers make the difficult transition to the Spalding Hoophall Classic to face Sierra Canyon. The Trailblazers are coming off a big win against Rancho Christian and look to bolster their national resume further with a big win against the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powerhouse.
, Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calf.) No. 1 in Class of 2020 — USC commit
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 2 in Class of 2020 — Oklahoma State commit
, Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) No. 3 in Class of 2020
, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.) No. 4 in Class of 2020 — Kentucky commit
, Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix) No. 7 in Class of 2020
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 9 in Class of 2020 — Florida State commit
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 14 in Class of 2020 — North Carolina commit
Brandon Boston, Jr.
, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) No. 15 in Class of 2020 — Kentucky commit
, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) No. 17 in Class of 2020 — Tennessee commit
, McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) No. 18 in Class of 2020 — Auburn commit
, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) No. 20 in Class of 2020 — Kentucky commit
, Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) No. 23 in Class of 2020 — Duke commit
, Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) No. 24 in Class of 2020 — Texas Tech commit
, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) No. 25 in Class of 2020 — LSU commit
, Whitney Young (Chicago) No. 26 in Class of 2020 — Duke commit
Adrian Griffin Jr.
, Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.) No. 8 in Class of 2021 — Duke commit (Injured)
, IMG Academy (Brandenton, Fla.) No. 10 in Class of 2021
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 17 in Class of 2021
, Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) No. 20 in Class of 2021
, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) No. 4 in Class of 2022
, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) No. 10 in Class of 2022
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 14 in Class of 2022
, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) No. 15 in Class of 2022
Thursday, Jan. 16
Friday, Jan. 17 (Girls)
Saturday, Jan. 18
Sunday, Jan. 19
Monday, Jan. 20