Mark your calendar for the weekend of Feb. 2-5 if prep school basketball is your passion. The 2012 National Prep School Invitational will take place that weekend at Rhode Island College. Thirty teams from all over the United States and one from the Canary Islands will battle for bragging rights and the attention of 100 Division I college coaches.
“We are very lucky to have an event in our area that attracts that many college coaches.” St. Andrew’s coach Mike Hart said. His team is one of the entrants.
St. Thomas More of Connecticut will return to defend its 2011 Prep Invitational title. The reigning NEPSAC champion Maine Central Institute and traditional powers Brewster Academy and Tilton School of New Hampshire, Bridgton Academy of Maine and Notre Dame Prep of Massachusetts are also coming.
This tournament has been a showcase for future college stars and professional players. Michael Carter-Williams of St. Andrew’s was the MVP the last two years. He is a freshman at top-ranked Syracuse this season. Shabazz Napier, the 2009 MVP, has won an NCAA championship with the University of Connecticut. According to the tournament officials, 28 NBA players are National Prep School Invitational alumni.
Ricardo Ledo of Providence and South Kent, will be among the headliners this year. He has committed to Providence College. Brewster Academy teammates Mitch McGary and TJ Warren will also be worth watching. McGary is bound for the University of Michigan, and Warren is going to North Carolina State. Nerlens Noel and Wayne Selden of Tilton School, Noah Vonleh and Jared Terrell of New Hampton and Steven Adams of Notre Dame Prep are the top underclassmen.
The University of Rhode Island hosted the tournament for the last nine years, but Dave Maron, tournament coordinator, had to change the site this year because of a new NCAA rule that prohibits non-scholastic tournaments on Division I campuses. Hart said the Prep Invitational should be even more popular with the move to Rhode Island College, which is more accessible for fans and college coaches.
The action starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. The eighth game of the day will start at 9 p.m. Nine games are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3, eight for Saturday, Feb. 4 and seven for Sunday, Feb. 5. Starting time for those days is 9 a.m. Prep school rules with 20-minute halves will apply.
Tickets are $10 per day for adults. There is no charge for spectators younger than 18.
Thanks to Mike Szostak and the Providence Journal for allowing us to print a summary of this article. You can read the full article as well as online editions of the Providence Journal from this link. Mike Szostak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org