This Thursday through Saturday, local basketball powerhouse Gonzaga College High School hosts the 21st annual Gonzaga DC Classic basketball tournament, bringing the best in boys high school basketball to Washington, D.C.
Since 1989, this tournament has played host to future college stars such as Robert Churchwell, Duane Simpkins, Vaughn Jones, Donta Bright, Keith Boothe and numerous other All Americans. It’s prime recruiting ground for college coaches and scouts, with a fair amount of the players already committed, and is considered one of the most prestigious holiday tournaments in the country. So simply put, this is a high level of play and super fun to watch.
The pre-holiday tournament features elite teams from across the country and has consistently pulled in some of the nation’s top boys high school basketball programs including: NY’s Christ the King and LaSalle Academy, Philly’s Roman Catholic, Lousiana’s South Lafourche, and many, many more.
For local area basketball enthusiasts, the tournament has also included strong representation from the top local programs of DeMatha, St. John’s Prospect Hall, Good Counsel and tournament host, Gonzaga, currently ranked 17th in the nation.
This year’s tournament roster is looking particularly stellar with the country’s 10th ranked team, Mater Dei, making the long journey all the way from Santa Ana, CA. And with Dallas’ Jesuit College Prep and NY’s Iona Prep filling out the non-Baltimore-Washington area teams.
Local teams vying for the tourney title are Forestville, MD’s Bishop McNamara, coming off a 22-11 2008 season. Calvert Hall from Baltimore, who hopes to build on last season’s success with 8 returning players. And first time participates, Chantilly, from where else but Chantilly, VA, and Sidwell Friends from just up the road on Wisconsin Avenue, NW.
These eight teams will compete for a chance to appearance in Saturday’s Championship and Consolation games held at American University’s Bender Area.
Better yet the tournament’s proceeds (tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids) support any number of local charities such as Children’s Hospital, So Others Might Eat (“SOME”) and the McKenna Center. Additionally, these funds are used to fund all of the local, national and international service projects in which Gonzaga students are involved. These projects have included volunteering in the Washington metropolitan area, Camden, Philadelphia, Florida, Appalachia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Over the years the Tournament has raised nearly $600,000 for these service projects.
You can find out more about the tournament at www.gonzagadcclassic.org.