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January 12, 2007The Flyin' to the Hoop Invitational has become a fine event on the major event schedule over the last couple of years and the talent looks strong in 2007. Beginning on Saturday, 19 teams will take to the court at Vandalia-Butler High School in Dayton, Ohio and Rivals.com will be on hand for the action.
Since it's inception in 2003, Flyin' to the Hoop has been a popular event during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend on the hoops circuit. Rudy Gay, J.R. Smith, Tello Palacios, Von Wafer, Demond Carter, Daquan Cook and others have all attended the tournament. This year's field is once again stacked with top prospects. For the locals, the event is a test for one local star.
Nearby native Chris Wright will play his college basketball in Dayton and the surprised some when he picked the Atlantic 10 program over interest from several high-majors. The 6-foot-7 high-flying athlete and his Trotwood Madison club will have their hands full with Oak Hill Academy.
The nation's top team continues the country wide tour and the locals will certainly be out in full force to see Wright show his stuff against the likes of Brandon Jennings, Howard Thompkins, Nolan Smith, Alex Legion and Julian Vaughn.
A number of prep schools will also take to the court. Perhaps the one team worth giving a good look is Christian Life Center from Houston. Leading the charge for the Lone Star State squad is DeAndre Jordan. The future Texas A&M big man is having a huge season this year and recently added a key junior to his starting five in UConn pledge Nate Miles. Also on the roster are Canadians Olu Ashaolu and Junior Cadougan.
Boys II Men Academy will look to DePaul commitment Nayal Koshwal and Louisville pledge Clarence Holloway inside while Leon Freeman and Jeremiah Kelly man the backcourt.
Stoneridge Prep bring a tall and talented frontcourt to Ohio and will look to Mamadou Diarra, one of the top unsigned players in the country, and Ibrihima Thomas, an Oklahoma State signee[/db], down low. National Prep Showcase stars Troy Gillenwater and Angelo Johnson, both juniors, give the team 20-point per game scorers.
Top 100 junior Malcolm White and Brandon Cooks, an unsigned senior forward, are two of the top players for Genesis One Elite. Victor Evans runs a deep rotation and the majority of his players are unsigned.
The field is also loaded with good mid-major players and a host of unsigned prospects in the 2007 class. Rivals.com will be on hand from start to finish and will have exclusive updates on the website throughout the weekend.
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007
12:30 p.m. - Boys to Men (Ill.) vs. Cornerstone Christian (Texas)
2:15 p.m. - Lakota East (Ohio) vs. Prince Avenue Prep (S.C.)
4:00 p.m. - Genesis One Elite (Miss.) vs. Christian Life Center (Texas)
5:45 p.m. - Oak Hill Academy (Va.) vs. Trotwood Madison (Ohio)
7:30 p.m. - Mason (Ohio) vs. Vandalia Butler (Ohio)
Mississippi State NEWS