By Ian Snowdeal
The Spalding Hoophall Classic presented by Eastbay brings athletes from across the country to play the game at the Birthplace of Basketball in Springfield, Mass. The players get to play on the same court that current NBA studs have played on and they have the chance to embed themselves into Hoophall Classic history. The Student talked to a few of the top tier performers from the weekend and asked them how it felt playing inside Blake Arena.
Wendell Green | LaLumiere
Wendell Green Jr impressed in a 47-42 win for LaLumiere School on Saturday, winning player of the game and scoring 15 points. The Eastern Kentucky University commit was honored to be at the birthplace playing the game he loves.
Wendell Green: “I played here last year too, we played DeMatha and got a win, but you always see all these great players that have played in this gym, so it’s an honor just to go out there and get the most outstanding player.”
Evan Mobley | Rancho Christian
One of the most well-known players at the event, Evan Mobley, showed flashes of why he’s the No. 1 ranked prospect (according to the ESPN Top 100) in the class of 2020. The USC commit, who has played all over the country, saw no real difference in his game against Camden High School
Evan Mobley: “It’s a little different, like the timeouts and stuff, they feel a little longer but it’s not too big of a difference, we just got to stay focused and stay in the game.”
Adama Sanogo | The Patrick School
Sanogo shined for The Patrick School and was given his first start after sitting out for 30 days due to New Jersey transfer rules. Sanogo posted 24 points in the loss and did all he could to keep his team in the game against powerhouse IMG Academy.
Adama Sanogo: “It’s a blessing, it’s a great environment, and I like to play here, it feels good.”
Rob Thibiant | Sierra Canyon
Robert Thibiant is a fan favorite among the popular Sierra Canyon team. During Sierra Canyon’s victory over Dominican High School on Saturday night, Thibiant dazzled the crowd hitting a three-pointer at the end of the game and making himself an instant fan favorite.
Robert Thibiant: “It was great, last year we came here and we didn’t do too well, so it was cool just coming back here. It was a great environment, a lot of good competition so it was just awesome playing front of these people and that shot was just cool.”
A new fan favorite: Robert Thibiant
Place went crazy when he checked in. He also hit a 3-pointer. pic.twitter.com/VW2Aj0NT9x
— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) January 19, 2020
Gabe Wiznitzer | Hargrave Military Academy
The six-foot-eleven center from Hargrave flashed signs of dominance at Hoophall, scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds. He has been developing since arriving at Hargrave this year and enjoyed his time at the birthplace.
Gabe Wiznitzer: “It was super fun, the environment was crazy, the energy, you could feel it on the court.”
Scottie Barnes | Montverde Academy
A future Florida State Seminole dominated in his third Spalding Hoophall Classic appearance this weekend when his Montverde squad picked up a win over No. 7 ranked IMG Academy.
Scottie Barnes: “It was my first win here, so it was good to get a win, it was a great environment and the crowd was hype.”
Photo Courtesy of Gabby Guerard