Kaleb Tarczewski faces off against Amile Jefferson at the Hoophall Classic. Produced by Justin Felisko/The Student
During Jan. 12-16, high schools’ elite basketball players took the stage at Blake Arena for the premier high school showcase, the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
In the next year or two, some of these players will suit up for the likes of Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and other top-notch Division I programs. In the further future, some will even take the stage, shaking hands with the NBA Commissioner being selected in the NBA Draft, like 2011 No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving, who played in the 2010 Hoophall Classic for St. Patrick High School (N.J.).
The Hoophall Classic gets a little better each year, and this edition was no different.
Best Game: Tilton School (N.H.) vs. Brewster Academy (N.H.)
The battle of New Hampshire prep school powerhouses was the most anticipated game of the weekend, and on Sunday, the two teams didn’t disappoint. The game featured two superstars going head-to-head. Tilton’s Nerlens Noel, a shot blocker so good he’s drawing comparisons to Patrick Ewing, went up against Brewster’s Mitch McGary, ranked No. 2 in the senior class and committed to Michigan. Although Noel (22 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks) won the head-to-head match-up, McGary and the Bobcats won the game, taking home a 57-53 win.
Best Performance: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
There is a reason he is ranked the No. 1 player in the nation. Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 small forward, was named Most Outstanding Player at the Hoophall this year, as he went off in a 73-65 win over DeMatha Catholic. Muhammad, weighing offers from Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Arizona, scored 37 points, including several monster slams. He also had the play of the weekend with a fast break windmill slam he took off a tipped pass from teammate Roscoe Allen.
Best Moment: Watching Coach K and Coach Cal sit within a few feet away from each other.
Mike Krzyzewski and John Calipari sat front row, right under the basket for Muhammad’s windmill dunk. The two legends were separated by one person: Duke assistant coach, Steve Wojciechowski. Coach K and Coach Cal both sat and watched Muhammad, both hoping the nation’s top player will enroll in their school for the upcoming fall.
Grant Jefferson shows off his skills in the paint at the Hoophall Classic. Produced by Justin Felisko/The Student.