February 25, 2005

Undefeateds clash in Champions Prep Classic

The second annual Champions Prep Basketball Classic to be played this weekend at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., will feature over approximately 80 NCAA Division I prospects, and a "dream matchup" of the nation's two best, both undefeated, post-graduate prep school programs, Laurinburg Institute Prep, and Hargrave Military Academy. For more information click on Rivals.com Ultimate Ticket.

Tournament director Wayne "World B" Otto has assembled an outstanding collection of talent and teams for his second annual Champions Prep Basketball Classic on Friday, February 25, and Saturday, February 26, at the Holmes Center on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C.

The feature game at 9:00 p.m. on Friday will match undefeated Laurinburg, N.C., Institute Prep with an amazing 39-0 record, against also undefeated Chatham, Va., Hargrave Military Academy, whose season record is now 25-0.

Last November, fourteen (count 'em, 14) members of the Laurinburg team signed with Division I programs, plus, three other players are expected to sign in April, meaning that 17 members of Coach Chris Chaney's unbelievably talent-filled prep school program appear to be college bound. Hargrave Military Academy had eight players sign national letters-of-intent last fall, and, according to Coach Kevin Keatts, he has five other players likely to sign with Division I programs in April.

In this game alone, which is billed as the United State Prep School National Championship Game, there could be 30 or more future college or NBA players.

According to Coach Chaney the top perormers for Laurinburg Institute Prep this season have been Memphis signee, 6-foot-8 guard/forward Shawne Williams, 6-foot-10 center/forward Magnum Rolle (L.S.U.), 6-foot-9 power forward Robert Dozier (Memphis), 6-foot-5 guard Antonio Anderson (Memphis), 6-foot-7 forward Mitch Mullis (Charlotte), and 6-foot-10 center Kareem Cooper(Memphis), to name only a few.

The top players for Hargrave Military Academy are rugged 6-foot-7 power forward Sam Young (Pittsburgh), 6-foot-7 wing forward Shane Clark (Maryland), 6-foot-5 one/two guard Tommie Liddell (St. Louis U.), the sharpshooter from Puerto Rico, 6-foot-6 A. D. Vassallo (Richmond), one of the top still unsigned big men, 6-foot-8 center/forward Jerome Johnson, and unsigned combo guard, 6-foot-5 Bilal Benn. Breaking news that Bilal Benn has just announced his commitment to Coach Jay Wright's Villanova Wildcats! Benn chose Villanova over Xavier, St. Joseph's, Penn State, and interest from Florida and Wake Forest.

In the Champions Classic four-team tournament at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, nationally No. 7 rated by USA Today, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy (32-2), will play Roanoke, Va., Catholic High School. In my opinion despite their two losses, Oak Hill Academy is the best high school team in the nation. Coach Steve Smith's Warriors are led by McDonald's All-American, 6-foot-4 one/two guard Eric Devendorf (Syracuse); one of the nation's top unsigned seniors, 6-foot-4 guard/forward Jamont Gordon; and sensational juniors, sensational 6-foot-9 forward Kevin Durant, and superb playmaker, 6-foot point guard Tywon Lawson.

The mainstays for Coach Joe Gaither's Roanoke Catholic High School team are 6-foot-7 senior guard/forward Irmantas Griksas, 6-foot-8 sophomore center Brandon Evans, and gifted sophomore guard, 6-foot-1 Deangelo Robinson.

In the Champions Classic opening game at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Centereach, N.Y., Our Savior New American will face Middleburg, Va., Notre Dame Academy. The much-travelled Our Savior New American team is led by Fresno State-signee, 6-foot-8 center James Tchana, and high-scoring junior guard, 6-foot-2 Tim Ambrose.

Notre Dame Academy features 6-foot-8 senior forward Ed Jones (15.7 ppg.), and talented senior guard 6-foot-3 Marcus Sugars (14.5 ppg.).

In what should be an entertaining, competitive Champions Classic Showcase Game on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., Durham, N.C. Mt. Zion Christian Academy will play Stockbridge, Ga., Community Christian School. Both of these teams are absolutely loaded with talent.
The top player for Mt. Zion Christian is marvelously athletic 6-foot-6 guard/forward Brandon Rush, who, reportedly, is deciding whether to attend a college or declare for the NBA draft. Other key players for Mt. Zion are Louisiana resident, unsigned 6-foot-7 forward Lamar Roberson; Iowa State signee, 6-foot-10 center
Shawn Taggert; and Auburn recruit, 6-foot-4 Jarvis Hill.

The headliners for Community Christian are powerful Kansas State signee, 6-foot-9 center/forward Ousmane Cisse, a member of the Ivory Coast national team; athletic 6-foot-5 junior wing guard Carlos Morais (verbally committed to Kansas State); highly rated junior 6-foot-5 wing forward Solomon Tat; and precocious 8th grader, 6-foot-5 guard/forward Terrell Barnes; and others.

CHAMPIONS PREP CLASSIC SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, February 25

5:30 p.m. Centereach, N.Y., Our Savior New American vs. Middleburg, Va. Notre Dame

7:00 p.m. Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy vs. Roanoke, Va., Catholic H.S.

8:30 p.m. Champions Classic Slam Dunk Contest

9:00 p.m. U.S. Prep School National Championship Game
Laurinburg, N.C., Institute vs. Chatham, Va., Hargrave Military Academy

Saturday, February 26

5:30 p.m. Champions Classic Third Place Game

7:00 p.m. Durham, N.C., Mt. Zion Christian vs. Stockbridge, Ga., Community Christian

8:30 p.m. Echota Three-Point Shooting Contest

9:00 p.m. Champions Classic Championship Game

10:45 p.m. Champions Classic Awards Presentation

Rivals.com will be there to cover this outstanding event.


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