Aug 9, 2013
The 2013 HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational in Raleigh will feature 11 players ranked in ESPN's top 30 of their respective graduating classes, including players considering offers from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina.
A total of eight five-star players and four four-star players will compete in the boys portion of the tournament, which is slated to run from Dec. 26 until Dec. 28, at Broughton High School's Holliday Gymnasium.
The field includes four of the top 20 players from the Class of 2014.
Among those players in the Class of 2014 are two North Carolina recruits – Justin Jackson and Joel Berry.
Jackson, who plays for the Homeschool Christian Youth Association in Katy, Texas, stands at 6-foot-7 and 185 pounds. ESPN lists him as a five-star player, the No. 1 small forward in the country, and the No. 8 overall player in the Class of 2014.
Fellow UNC recruit Joel Berry of Lake Highland Prep in Orlando, Fla., will also be a part of the field.
Berry is a 6-foot, 185-pound point guard. According to ESPN, Berry is the No. 3 point guard in his class, and the No. 14 overall player.
Also included in the field is Devin Booker, of Moss Point (Miss.). Booker holds offers from a number of schools, including Duke and UNC. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard is rated the No. 2 shooting guard in the Class of 2014 by ESPN.com.
Also a five-star player, Booker is the No. 16 overall player in his class.
Another five-star player from the Class of 2014 who will play in the Holiday Invitational is Goodluck Okonoboh of Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Boston, Mass.
Okonoboh stands at 6-foot-9 and 215-pounds. He is the No. 4 center and the No. 19 overall player in his class, according to ESPN.com. Okonoboh holds a number of offers, including Duke, Louisville, NC State, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse, among others.
One of the top local players from the Class of 2014 is Gary Clark, and Clark will lead the Clayton Comets back into the Holiday Invitational this season. At 6-foot-7 and 215 pounds, Clark is a four-star player and the No. 26 power forward in his class, according to ESPN.com.
In-state schools to offer Clark include Charlotte, East Carolina, NC State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington and Wake Forest.
Leading off the Class of 2015 is Kinston's Brandon Ingram. The 6-foot-7, 180-pound small forward is a five-star player and the No. 2 player at his position, according the ESPN. The outlet also lists Ingram as the No. 12 overall player in his class.
Ingram currently holds offers from NC State, North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Kinston is also the two-time defending N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A state champions.
Wheeler High School from Marietta, Ga., brings two of the nations top juniors to the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational this year in Daniel Giddens and Jaylen Brown.
Giddens, a 6-foot-9 center, is the No. 5 center from the Class of 2015. According to ESPN, Giddens is a 4-star player and the No. 26 overall player from his class. He holds offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Maryland, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others.
Brown is a 6-foot-6 small forward for Wheeler. According to ESPN, Brown is a four-star player, the No. 6 small forward and the 27th best player in his class. NC State has offered Brown, but so have a host of other schools such as Arizona, Florida State, Kansas, Louisville and UCLA.
One of the very best players from the Class of 2016 will be playing in the Holiday Invitational this year. Thon Maker, a 7-footer from Carlisle School in Martinsville, Va., is the second best player in his class, according to ESPN.
The media outlet lists Maker as a 5-star player and the best center in his class. He has offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Miami and Virginia.
Another five-star player from the Class of 2016 appearing in the Holiday Invitational this season is 6-foot-4 shooting guard Mustapha Heron of Wilbraham & Monson Academy. Heron is the No. 4 shooting guard in his class and the 12th best overall player.
Hammond School of Columbia, S.C., will bring sophomore point guard Seventh Woods into the Holiday Invitational this year.
Woods is also a five-star player, ranked the No. 1 point guard in his class and the 14th best player by ESPN.
Trinity Christian School of Fayetteville has a duo of big time players as well in Kwe Parker and Dennis Smith.
Parker is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, rated the No. 7 shooting guard in his class. ESPN lists Parker as the 24th best player from the Class of 2016. He reports an ACC offer from Virginia Tech.
Smith is a 6-foot-2 point guard but is not currently rated by ESPN, but last season one of his plays ended up on the SportsCenter Top Plays segment.
The complete list of boys teams is Apex (NC), Broughton (Raleigh, NC), Clayton (NC), Garner (NC), Hammond School (Columbia, SC), Homeschool Christian Youth Association (Katy, Texas), Kinston (NC), Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), Middle Creek (Apex, NC), Moss Point (Miss.), Sanderson (Raleigh, NC), Trinity Christian School (Fayetteville, NC), Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.), Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Wilbraham, Mass.), and Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, NC).
The field of boys teams will be separated into two eight-team brackets.
The girls field will again include an eight-team tournament this season, and all eight teams are expected to be successful this season.
Many of the teams have won at high levels in the last few seasons.
Broughton's girls basketball team will play in the Holiday Invitational again this season after making a run to the Eastern Regional last season. The Capitals lost to Millbrook – the eventual state champion – in the regional game.
Of Broughton's five losses last season, four of them came to Millbrook – twice during the regular season, once in the conference championship game, and once in the regional.
Broughton fell to Myers Park in the HighSchoolOT.com Holiday Invitational championship game last season.
Hillside, one of the top teams in Triangle almost every year, returns to the Holiday Invitational field for the third consecutive year, and Dudley returns from Greensboro for the second straight season.
Chapel Hill's girls basketball team, led by legendary head coach Sherry Norris, will play in the Holiday Invitational after making a run to the 3-A state championship game this past season.
One of the teams Chapel Hill had to defeat to make it to the state title game was West Craven, and they will be in the Holiday Invitational as well this season. Last season, Chapel Hill narrowly defeated West Craven 59-51 in the Eastern Regional Final to advance to the state championship game.
The complete list of girls teams is Broughton, Cary, Chapel Hill, Dudley, Hillside, Riverside, West Craven and West Forsyth.
Girls games will be played at Cary Academy's Fitness Center, with the exception of the championship game, which will be played on Dec. 28 at Broughton High School's Holliday Gymnasium.