By Cait Kemp
The Spalding Hoophall Classic is returning to the Birthplace of Basketball this upcoming winter. On Jan. 12-16, 2023, Springfield College will host the 21st annual Hoophall Classic, which will feature 53 teams from 17 states. The best of the best will come together to compete on the most notable stage – the place where basketball was created. Teams from across the nation will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in Springfield and appreciate the history of their sport.
In addition to the usual boys teams that attend Hoophall, there will be five girls games highlighting nine teams. This is an increase from last year’s Hoophall schedule, which only included two girls games.
The showcase will begin as usual with the local matchups. Several teams from Hampden County are set to play: Springfield Central, Longmeadow, Pope Francis, Putnam Vocational and Springfield International Charter School.
Some of the top high school prospects will be present at Blake Arena to compete. ESPN 2023 Top 100 Recruits DJ Wagner (No. 1), Justin Edwards (No. 2), MacKenzie Mgbako (No. 4), Aaron Bradshaw (No. 5), Isaiah Collier (No. 6) and Sean Stewart (No. 7) will all compete at Hoophall in 2023.
Sierra Canyon is making its return to Hoophall after not participating in 2022, and with that, so are the sons of LeBron James. Bronny James will return as a senior – his first time back at Hoophall since he competed in 2020 as a freshman. His younger brother, Bryce James, will play for his first time as a sophomore.
Other big-name schools that will be present are IMG Academy, Arizona Compass Prep, Sunrise Christian School, Montverde Academy and Gulliver Prep, which is coached by Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Ray Allen.
The Springfield Student staff will cover the event again in 2023. Last year, The Student produced more than 30 stories and published a 24-page paper reporting on both the local and national teams and players, highlighting their unique stories. This year, The Student will produce plenty of multimedia coverage, including written stories, social media, photography and video.
The event is jam-packed with all-star teams, players and coaches and is set to be an exciting long weekend. Both local and national news outlets will be present to cover Hoophall once again, proving the high-level competition and prestige of the showcase.
Ticket-purchasing information can be found on the Hall of Fame website.
Photo Courtesy Joe Arruda