Inaugural State Champions Invitational High School Basketball Tournament to take place in Tampa, Fla. April 7-9

High School Sports

Inaugural State Champions Invitational High School Basketball Tournament to take place in Tampa, Fla. April 7-9

  • All Six Games to Air on ESPN Networks
  • Four Boys and Four Girls State Champions Set to Compete
  • Girls Field Includes Three SC Next Top 25 Teams Including No. 1 Sidwell Friends

The inaugural State Champions Invitational high school basketball tournament will take place April 7-9 at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Fla. Paragon Marketing Group founded the event to create an opportunity for champions from different states to compete against one another to crown an overall champion. National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) member teams must win their sanctioned state championship and be permitted to compete by their respective state association in order to be eligible to participate in the State Champions Invitational.

Current state associations that allow teams to participate in the State Champions Invitational include: Arizona (AIA), Florida (FHSAA), Georgia (GHSA), Hawaii (HHSAA), Nevada (NIAA), Utah (UHSAA), Washington (WIAA) and Washington D.C. (DCSAA).

The three-day single elimination tournament begins Thursday, April 7, with the boys’ semifinals starting at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The girls’ semifinals begin Friday, April 8, at 2 p.m. on ESPNU. The tournament culminates on Saturday, April 9, with the girls’ championship at 10 a.m. on ESPNU and the boys’ championship at noon on ESPN2.

“The State Champions Invitational is a new and unique event that will determine who is the best of the best among NFHS state winners,” said Paul Biancardi, ESPN basketball analyst and national recruiting director. “The concept of having four boys and girls state champions play under one roof on a national stage is incredibly visionary and exciting. If more states sanction their teams to play, the opportunity for high school basketball is tremendous.”

2022 State Champions Invitational Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Thu, Apr 7 4 p.m. Sidwell Friends (D.C.) vs. Calvary Christian (Fla.) – Boys ESPNU
  6 p.m. Norcross (Ga.) Auburn (Wash.) – Boys ESPNU
Fri, Apr 8 2 p.m. Woodward Acad. (Ga.) vs. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) – Girls ESPNU
  4 p.m. Centennial (Nev.) vs. Sidwell Friends (D.C.) – Girls ESPNU
Sat, Apr 9 10 a.m. Girls Championship ESPNU
  12 p.m. Boys Championship ESPN2

2022 State Champions Invitational Participating Boys Teams:
Boys team rankings are per SC Next Top 25

Boys player rankings are per the ESPN 100 (class of 2022), ESPN 60 (class of 2023) and ESPN 25 (class of 2024)

 

  1. Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.), 24-2, SC Next No. 8
    Coach: Cilk McSweeney
    ESPN Ranked Players: No. 55 Taylor Hendricks (UCF); No. 14 Jr. Marvel Allen (LSU)
    Notes: FHSAA 4A State Champions with key wins over Camden (N.J.) and North Little Rock (Ark.)

 

  1. Auburn High School (Wash.), 27-2
    Coach: Ryan Hansen
    Key Players: Sr. Tre Blassingame, Sr. Kaden Hansen
    Notes: WIAA 3A State Champions with key wins over Garfield (Wash.), Seattle Prep (Wash.) and Rainier Beach (Wash.)

 

  1. Norcross High School (Ga.), 26-6
    Coach: Jesse McMillan
    ESPN Ranked Players: No. 28 Jr. London Johnson
    Notes: GHSA 7A State Champions with key wins over Tamp Catholic (Fla), Newton (Ga.) and Berkmar (Ga.)

 

  1. Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 29-1
    Coach: Eric Singletary
    Key Players: Sr. Christian Gamble; So. Caleb Williams
    Notes: DCSAA 2A Champions with key victories over Bishop McNamara (Md.), St. John’s (D.C.) and Grayson (Ga.)

2022 State Champions Invitational Participating Girls Teams:
Girls team rankings are per the SC Next Top 25

Girls player rankings are per the espnW 100 (class of 2022), espnW Super 60 (class of 2023), espnW Terrific 25 (class of 2024) and espnW Watchlist (class of 2025)

1 Sidwell Friends (D.C.), 28-0, SC Next No. 1
Coach: Tamika Dudley
espnW Ranked Players: No. 2 Kiki Rice (UCLA); No. 10 Jr. Jadyn Donovan; No. 4 Kendall Dudley
Notes: DCSAA 2A Champions with key victories over Bishop McNamara (Md.), Desoto (Texas) and Hopkins (Minn.)

  1. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 25-4, SC Next No. 12
    Coach: Al Honor
    espnW Ranked Players: No. 35 Nyla Harris (Louisville); No. 18 So. Alexandra Blue
    Notes: FHSAA 4A State Champions with key wins over Woodward Academy (Ga.), Hoover (Ala.) and Bearden (Tenn.)
  1. Woodward Academy (Ga.), 28-2, No. 18
    Coach: Kim Lawrence
    espnW Ranked Players: No. 37 Sydney Bowles (Georgia)
    Notes: GHSA 5A State Champions with key wins over Lovejoy (Ga.), Mt. Paran (Ga.) and Hoover (Ala.)
  1. Centennial High School (Nev.), 17-3
    Coach: Karen Weitz
    espnW Ranked Players: No. 19 Jr. Montaya Dew
    Notes: NIAA 5A State Champions with key wins over ‘Iolani (Hawaii) Grandview (Colo.), Westminster Academy (Fla.)

Tickets are available for purchase online, along with further event information at scihoops.com

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About Paragon Marketing Group
Paragon Marketing Group is a corporate consulting agency specializing in sports, entertainment and cause related sponsorships. Paragon owns and operates the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals and has collaborated with ESPN over the past 19 years to deliver over 800 live high school sports telecasts featuring many of the top teams and players in the nation. Paragon collaborates with ESPN on the following live properties:

GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff & Showcase
GEICO Girls Volleyball Invitational
GEICO Top Flight Invite
GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase
U.S. Marines NIBC Series
GEICO State Champions Bowl Series
ESPN Girls Basketball Invitational
GEICO High School Basketball Nationals
GEICO High School Lacrosse Showcase
GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals
GEICO Baseball City Series

ESPN media contact: Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected]; @kimelchlepp

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