Holiday Invitational

Recruiters look to Raleigh tournament for top talent

Posted December 27, 2011

Basketball players from local teams have the opportunity to catch the eye of college recruiters this week in Raleigh, when they participate in one of the nation's top invitational tournaments.

The Holiday Invitational is in its 40th year of drawing teams, fans and college scouts to the Triangle for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

"I would say this tournament has some of the top basketball players in the country," said Bill Sewell, tournament director.

Raleigh tournament is hot ticket for recruiters Raleigh tournament is hot ticket for recruiters

This year's field of 32 teams includes players committed to play college ball at Duke and North Carolina State universities, and recruits headed to Kansas, Michigan State and other high-profile programs.

Their presence is why Brick Oettinger was in attendance Tuesday morning when Chapel Hill took on Clayton.

"I go back to 1977," Oettinger said. The recruiting analyst and columnist studied Michael Jordan when he was just "Mike."

"I went and watched Mike Jordan play, and he put on an incredible show," Oettinger said.

He would not keep coming back if the action wasn't worth watching. Sewell estimates that three dozen recruiters will sit in the stands this week at Cary Academy and Broughton High School on behalf of ACC colleges.

On Tuesday morning, Oettinger was on hand to see Chapel Hill's Denzel Ingram score his 1,000th point as a high school player.

Chapel Hill's Ingram scores 1000th point Chapel Hill's Ingram scores 1000th point

"On a personal level, I think it's great for Denzel because he is getting some other attention from some of the college coaches that are here," Ingram's coach, Tod Morgan, said.

Ingram has yet to decide where he will attend college. But his play may just earn him the notice of a man like Oettinger.


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