Prominence and high-profile personalities have priority, and the reigning Class 3A state champion O’Dea Irish will experience that next December.
O’Dea was invited as one of the 16 teams for the prestigious 47th annual City of Palms Classic starting Dec. 18 in Fort Myers, Florida.
Led by juniors-to-be Paolo Banchero, John Christofilis and Jermaine Davis, the Irish will take the floor with the likes of national powerhouses Montverde Academy (Fla.), IMG Academy (Fla.), Christ The King (N.Y.) and defending tournament champion Powder Springs McEachern (Ga.).
“We like to move (selections) around,” said John Naylor, the tournament’s executive director. “We’ve had teams from different parts of the country, and from Canada and Europe.”
It is a tournament marketed on big names, and the Irish boast one of them in the 6-foot-9 Banchero, an all-state performer as a sophomore who is a consensus top-five national recruit for the class of 2021.
Since its inception in 1973, the City of Palms Classic has hosted approximately 550 future NCAA Division I players, and nearly 150 NBA players, including Deandre Ayton, Joel Embid, Kevin Love, D’Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons, John Wall – and recent No. 3 overall 2019 draft pick R.J. Barrett.
O’Dea will be the first school from Washington to play in the tournament since 2006 when Seattle Prep, led by Spencer Hawes, was in the field in back-to-back years. Bremerton also played in the tournament in 2004 with Marvin Williams. (Refer to the bottom for the full list of 2019 entrants)
Here are some other news items and notes from around Washington high school sports this week:
- Vanderbilt beat Michigan 8-2 on Wednesday to win the 2019 NCAA college baseball national championship. It was led by Newport grad Ethan Paul, writes Larry Stone of The Seattle Times.
- Zach Hereth of The Everett Herald takes a “way-too-early look” at some of the best matchups in the prep football season through the first two weeks.
- Recent Chiawana grad AJ Vongphachanh is headed to play football at Utah State. The Tri-Cities Herald‘s Cameron Probert published a video feature on Vonphachanh.
- The Washington Post took a look at how a an elite Nevada basketball program that produced a constant stream of NBA talent shut down seemingly overnight.
- No. 1 NBA Draft pick Zion Williamson’s basketball jersey is a hot seller. His high school jersey, that is, reports The Washington Post.
- Sports Illustrated takes a deep-dive into the life of “SUPERKID,” the first high school baseball player to grace the cover of the magazine.
TEAMS IN THE 2019 CITY OF PALMS CLASSIC
O’Dea High School
Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Chicago Whitney Young (Ill.)
Christ the King (N.Y.)
St. Louis Vashon (Mo.)
Powder Springs McEachern (Ga.)
Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.)
Philadelphia Roman Catholic (Pa.)
Hockessin Stanford (Del.)
Benton Marshall County (Ky.)
IMG Academy (Fla.)
Pompano Beach Ely (Fla.)
Sarasota Riverview (Fla.)
Fort Myers High (Fla.)