Two of the nations top 15 boys basketball teams will play in the first Wild Wing Cafe Hoops Classic at Ardrey Kell High. The tournament tips off 9 a.m. Friday. Games will be played Friday, Saturday and Monday.
Montverde (Fla.) Academy is ranked No. 1 in many of the national prep polls, including MaxPreps. Charlottes Northside Christian is No. 14 in MaxPreps poll. Another boys team in the field this week, Lincoln (N.Y.), nearly beat Montverde in a tournament in Florida last week and has been nationally ranked, too. Lincoln, a perennial national power, is 7-1.
Northside starts tournament play Friday against another perennial power, Arlington Country Day (Fla.), which has two top 65 national recruits.
In all, the tournament will feature 10 players who are ranked among the nations top 100 in their class. Also, Westlake (Ga.) High is in the field. That is the alma mater of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
There will be three divisions at the tournament: a national field, led by Montverde, a girls field and a local boys field, featuring N.C. 4A state champ Olympic, Ardrey Kell, Victory Christian and Charlotte Christian. Each of the local teams has at least one Division I recruit.
Formerly known as the Bojangles Shootout, this event was once called the No. 1 post-Christmas tournament in the nation. Past participants include Raymond Felton of the New York Knicks, Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Bobcats, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Jody Meeks of the L.A. Lakers and LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers. Several past players are also now in the WNBA, including Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics and Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx.
• There are two other big tournaments in the immediate Charlotte-area.
The annual Holy Angels Tournament is at Charlotte Catholic and Charlotte Latin on Friday, Saturday and Monday. Games featuring local fields begin Friday at 3 p.m. at both sites.
And the Upward Classic returns to Gaston Day. The eight-team boys field includes five area teams and three out-of-state schools. The field includes Orlando (Fla.) Christian, the 2A state champions. The team includes Central Florida commit Adonys Henriquez, a 6-foot-5 senior. Two-time 3A Georgia state finalist Savannah High is also in the field, along with defending Virginia 2A state champ Christ Church. That team is led by 6-8 Florida commit Devin Robinson, who is ranked No. 28 nationally among seniors by ESPN. There is also an eight-team girls field.
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