Holiday Invitational tips off today

The first boys game in the 2004 GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational Tournament will be at 4:00 p.m. today on the campus of N.C. State University in historic Reynolds Coliseum, the birthplace of the ACC. Top players in this tradition-filled outstanding tournament include Tasmin Mitchell, Greg Paulus, and Marcus Ginyard.
The 33rd annual GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational in Raleigh, N.C., is one of the nation's oldest and most successful high school basketball tournaments, and has long been one of our favorite after-Christmas events. Tournament director Kelly Andrews again has an outstanding 12-team field, and the event has the best true basketball atmosphere of any tournament that I have ever attended.
The eight (8) teams competing in the Holiday Invitational Tournament are Arlington, Va., Bishop O'Connell High with future North Carolina guard, 6-5 Marcus Ginyard, unsigned 6-8 power forward David Neal, and talented 6-8 junior center/forward Rockwell Moody. From Syracuse, N.Y., Christian Brothers Academy, featuring Duke-signee, 6-2 point guard Greg Paulus, who surprised many by choosing basketball over football; and coming from the deep South, Denham Springs, La., High, and their All-American, L.S.U.-bound, relentless warrior 6-7 power forward Tasmin Mitchell.
Other Holiday Invitational participants are Huntersville, N.C. North Mecklenburg High, with the No. 1 junior prospect in North Carolina, 6-8 power forward Jamie Skeen; Virginia state champion Newport News, Va., Woodside High with talented junior, 6-2 guard Stefan Welsh; defending North Carolina 4A state champion, Raleigh, N.C., Wakefield High with unsigned big man, 6-10 center Sam Carlisle; Apex, N.C., High with 6-5 forward Charles Baker and 6-4 G/F James Dillard; and Bunn, N.C., High with laser-quick 5-10 point guard Freddie Little.
In the four-team U.S. Challenge field are: Washington, D.C. Gonzaga High with 6-6 wing forward Paul Johnson, and 6-8 junior center/forward Jacob Green;Jenkintown, Pa., Abington Friends High with 6-8 junior Jason Love and 6-7 junior Andrew Jones; Metuchen, N.J., St. Joseph's High, whose roster includes future UConn big man, 6-11 center Andrew Bynum, who, unfortunately, will likely miss this season with a torn acl injury; and Arden, N.C., Christ School, with a deep, talented roster.
Schedule of Boys Games for December 27
4:00 p.m. Raleigh, N.C., Wakefield vs. Norfolk, Va. Woodside
5:40 p.m. Bunn, N.C., High vs. Syracuse, N.Y., Christian Brothers
7:20 p.m. Huntersville, N.C., North Mecklenburg vs. Denham Springs, La., High
9:00 p.m. Apex, N.C., High vs. Arlington, Va., Bishop O'Connell
Schedule of Boys Games for December 28
12:40 p.m. Loser (Bunn/Christian Brothers) vs. Loser (Apex/Bishop O'Connell)
2:20 p.m. Loser (Wakefield/Woodside) vs. Loser (North Mecklenburg/Denham Springs)
4:00 p.m. Washington, D.C., Gonzaga vs. Jenkintown, Pa., Abington Friends
5:40 p.m. Arden, N.C., Christ School vs. Metuchen, N.J., St. Joseph's
7:20 p.m. Winner (Wakefield/Woodside) vs. Winner (North Meck. vs. Denham Springs)
9:00 p.m. Winner (Bunn/Christian Brothers) vs. Winner (Apex/Bishop O'Connell)
Schedule of Boys Games for December 29
11:00 a.m. 8th Place Game (Losers of 12:40 and 2:20 games on 12/28)
12:40 p.m. Third Place U.S. Challenge (Losers on 12/28)
4:00 p.m. 5th Place Game (Winners of 12:40 and 2:20 games on 12/28)
5:40 p.m. 3rd Place Holiday Invitat. (Losers of 7:20 and 9 p.m. games on 12/28)
7:20 p.m. Championship Game U.S. Challenge (Winners of 4:00 and 5:40 games on 12/28)
9:00 p.m. Championship Game Holiday Invitational (Winners of 7:20 and 9:00 games on 12/28)
I look forward to seeing you in Raleigh, and happy holidays!