First impressions are everything.
That being said, the inaugural Bill Crothers invitational is coming out with a bang, by design.
Charles Hantoumakos, Crothers Head Coach and tournament organizer has been working to ensure an elite field of participants.
“My initial hopes were to run the biggest high school event this country has ever seen, and it seems to have lived up to that expectation,” Hantoumakos told North Pole Hoops.
The Bill Crothers program has played a pioneer role on the Canadian prep scene, with the idea of retaining elite talent.
“I want to see basketball grow in this country, and do whatever I can to help the process,” said Hantoumakos.
Last season, Crothers graduated two players to the NCAA division one level in Trae Bell Haynes (Vermont) and Rashawn Browne (NMSU) along with two on JUCO scholarships in Jamal Thomas (Pensacola St) and Gavin Pearce (Northwest Kansas Tech).
This year’s team is full of youth, but features talented prospects like Jacques Lukusa, Shakur Daniel, D’Andre Bernard, Cole Lawrence and Elijah Green to name a few.
Crothers will take on Ottawa Next Level, and St Benedict’s (New Jersey) who features five Canadian prospects.
St Benedicts (New Jersey)
The St Benedict’s Gray Bees feature five Canadians on the 2014-2015 roster.
- Tyrell Gumbs-Frater
- Marcus Ottey
- Daniel Cummings
- Kamar McKnight
- Kevin Hamlet
Wasatch Academy (Utah)
Wasatch features the most Canadian content on an American prep, with six.
- Cody John
- Koby McEwan
- Josip Vrankic
- Jeff Baradziej
- Shamiel Stevenson
- Jackson Rowe
NCAA and CIS prospects will touch the floor in every game played over the weekend, including NBA prospects Jamal Murray and Thon Maker of Orangeville Prep.
Every team in this tournament possesses fire power, including Thetford Academy from Quebec, who will compete in two quality games against Orangeville Prep and Wasatch.
Additionally, former dunk masters Gary Durrant, Phil Dixon and Martin Keane will judge the slam dunk competition on Saturday night!
“I think this event is a huge step in the right direction and I can’t wait to make this an annual thing,” said Hantoumakos.
“The competition level is top notch with over 50 division 1 level guys and future NBA prospects all under one roof.”
Saturday, FEB 28, 2015
- 11:00 AM – Wasatch Academy VS Athlete Institute
- 1:00 PM – Bill Crothers VS Ottawa Next Level
- 3:00 PM – Bill Crothers Jrs VS Notre Dame (Ajax)
- 5:00 PM – Orangeville Prep VS Thetford Academy
- 6:45 PM – Dunk Competition
- 7:30 PM – Wasatch VS St Benedict’s
Sunday, March 1, 2015
- 12:00 PM – Wasatch VS Thetford Academy
- 2:00 PM – St Benedict’s VS Bill Crothers
- 4:00 PM – Athlete Institute VS Ottawa Next Level
- 6:00 PM – Toronto Central VS Orangeville Prep