HS Basketball News: State Champions Invitational coming to ESPN in April

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Since its inception in 2009, earning a reveal to GEICO Nationals has been atop the vision boards of highschool basketball teams throughout the country, nonetheless with apt eight seeds and impart affiliation red tape, most teams have by no design had a life like likelihood to compete… Except now.

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On Tuesday, Paragon Marketing and marketing neighborhood, which founded GEICO Nationals, GEICO Enlighten Champions Bowl Sequence and serves as the entrance pickle of industrial for the Nationwide Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC), announced the originate of the Enlighten Champions Invitational living to trail April 7-9.

The postseason tournament will host four boys teams and 4 girls teams and is most full of life for NFHS impart champions.

The SCI can be held in the Orlando-Tampa put of living at a venue yet to be obvious and would possibly perchance maybe perchance very properly be broadcasted survive the ESPN Networks.

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RELATED: SB Stay/Sports actions Illustrated Energy 25

GEICO Nationals will now most full of life be for honest four-one year high colleges or four-one year high colleges who are diagnosed by their impart associations nonetheless obtain no longer play for their impart championship.

“We desire to originate extra opportunity for additonal teams to participate in postseason play,” stated Paragon Marketing and marketing president Rashid Ghazi. “It’s a terribly odd opportunity for impart champs to play diversified impart champs.”

Eligible teams must belong to an NFHS member impart affiliation and must take their impart championship.

As it stands, most full of life impart associations in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Nevada and Washington, D.C. enable teams to compete in postseason play.

The formation of the SCI would possibly perchance maybe perchance abolish bigger that checklist substantially as one of the most largest components with GEICO Nationals was once that obvious impart associations restrict their teams from playing against honest colleges who are eligible for GEICO Nationals.

Provided that they take their impart championship, five of the head 10 teams in the SB Stay/Sports actions Illustrated Energy 25 national boys basketball rankings – No. 2 Duncanville (Texas), No. 6 Richardson (Texas), No. 7 Calvary Christian (Citadel Lauderdale, Fla.), No. 9 Camden (N.J.) and No. 10 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) – would possibly perchance maybe perchance be eligible for the SCI, nonetheless most full of life Calvary Christian would possibly perchance maybe perchance be permitted to relieve per impart affiliation tips.

This would perchance furthermore be full of life to head attempting to hunt down a intention impart associations who have traditionally shunned GEICO Nationals cherish the University Interscholastic League in Texas, the Ohio High College Athletic Affiliation and the California Interscholastic League answer to the news of the SCI this season.

“With an NFHS-most full of life tournament, it’s one much less living off of diversified impart associations to yelp no and it’s one extra living off of them to relook at it and yelp yes,” Ghazi stated. “Our hope is that extra states will have a look at this tournament and ogle that it falls throughout the teams they permit their teams to play, so they’ll abolish an exception and enable postseason play beyond the impart championship.”

As a winner of nine impart championships in a row, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) boys basketball coach Grant Rice can absolutely keep up a correspondence to how aggressive it’s to invent a reveal to GEICO Nationals.

RELATED: SI99 2022 Basketball Rankings

His yarn trail has most full of life yielded him one berth in the tournament in 2019, and that was once on myth of McEachern High College (Powder Springs, Ga.) opted out of participating due to the a scheduling battle.

The Gaels dropped a double time beyond law thriller to La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), 74-69.

“It’s hard on myth of there are quite a bit of vast teams accessible,” Rice stated. “So, I’m desirous concerning the Enlighten Champions Invitational on myth of it gives plenty extra opportunities for colleges which have earned the same thing that we did. We had such an infinite time at GEICO Nationals; all the pieces was once first class. It’s an infinite technique to abolish bigger, and I in actuality feel cherish diversified states will participate now. 

“It’d be ideal to head attempting to hunt down the impart champ in Nevada against the impart champ in California or Florida or one other impart with a highly ranked impart champion. What extra can you do a matter to for? It’s bringing wide fan bases and diversified in-impart colleges would possibly perchance maybe perchance rally in the advantage of the college representing them. It’s apt an infinite opportunity throughout the board.”

The procedure for 2023 is to abolish bigger the tournament to eight boys teams and eight girls teams and, if extra impart associations rating onboard, to abolish bigger to an NCAA tournament mannequin with regionals that in the end lead to an Elite 8 and Last Four.

“We’ve had coaches characterize us and yelp they honestly must play in the postseason can you abet us resolve out a intention to achieve it. Then we’ve had obvious states characterize us if we created an tournament that’s most full of life for impart affiliation teams, they’re willing to relook at it,” Ghazi stated. “Our hope is that there is a extra severe discussion by states who balked at letting teams play in GEICO Nationals to rethink their policy and enable their teams to play in the Enlighten Champions Invitational.

“One thing we’ve confirmed with GEICO Nationals and Enlighten Champions Bowl Sequence is that students, communities and colleges adore postseason play. They adore the abilities from on the court playing against diversified prime ranked teams to the educational experiences that we provide. There’s no longer one impart that’s permitted postseason play that’s modified the guideline benefit in accordance to a defective abilities. It’s a testament to what we’ve built and it’s why we’re confident that extra states will attain onboard.” 

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