The GEICO High School Basketball Nationals returns to Christ the King High School April 4-6 featuring the strongest field in event history. All 10 games of the single-elimination tournament will be available on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
The three-day tournament begins Thursday, April 4, at noon ET with the boys quarterfinals on ESPNU. The action continues on Friday, April 5th, with the girls semifinals beginning at 11 a.m. on ESPNU and the boys semifinals beginning at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. The tournament culminates on Saturday, April 6, with the girl’s championship at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 and the boys championship at noon on ESPN.
“GEICO Nationals is one of the nation’s most prestigious high school basketball championship events,” said Paul Biancardi, ESPN national recruiting director. “In all my years of calling games in this tournament, this year’s field is among strongest we’ve seen with the highest quality teams and talent combined.”
Six of the top 10 ranked boy’s teams will compete, including the top four: No. 1 La Lumiere (Ind.), No. 2 McEachern High School (Ga.), No. 3 Montverde (Fla.), No. 4 IMG Academy (Fla.), No. 9 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and No. 10 Wasatch Academy (Utah). No. 14 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) and No. 21 NSU University School (Fla.) round out the field.
The girl’s field is the best the tournament has seen, with three of the top four teams in the country facing off, including No. 1 Miami Country Day School (Fla.), No. 2 St. John’s College High School (D.C), No. 4 Centennial High School (Nev.) and No. 7 New Hope Academy (Md.).
Seven McDonald’s All-American representatives will participate in the tournament, including: Precious Achiuwa (Montverde), Cole Anthony (Oak Hill), Armando Bacot (IMG), Vernon Carey, Jr. (NSU Univ. School), Josh Green (IMG), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (IMG) and Isaiah Stewart (La Lumiere).
2019 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Schedule
|Thu, Apr 4||Noon||Sunrise Christian (Kan.) vs. McEachern (Ga.)||ESPNU|
|2 p.m.||Wasatch (Utah.) vs. Montverde (Fla.)||ESPNU|
|4 p.m.||NSU Univ. School vs. La Lumiere (Ind.)||ESPNU|
|6 p.m.||Oak Hill (Va.) vs. IMG (Fla.)||ESPNU|
|Fri, Apr 5||11 a.m.||New Hope (Md.) vs. Miami Country Day (Fla.)||ESPNU|
|1 p.m.||Centennial (Nev.) vs. St. John’s (D.C.)||ESPNU|
|3 p.m.||Boys Semifinal 1 – Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner||ESPN2|
|5 p.m.||Boys Semifinal 2 – Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner||ESPN2|
|Sat, Apr 6||10 a.m.||Girls Final||ESPN2|
2019 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Boys Teams
Boys team rankings are per USA Today Sports Super 25 Expert Rankings, and boys player rankings are per the ESPN 100.
Girls team rankings are per the ESPNW 25 Power Rankings, and girls player rankings are per the ESPNW 100.
No. 1 La Lumiere School (Ind.)
Tournament History: Seventh appearance: Champions in 2017 (Runner-up in 2016)
Coach: Patrick Holmes
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 4 Isaiah Stewart, No. 38 Keion Brooks|
Notes: In his second year on the job, Pat Holmes looks to win his first GEICO Nationals title as head coach. He was lead assistant coach on the 2017 La Lumiere team that claimed the title. His top ranked team is 28-0 and is led by the No. 4 Isaiah Stewart (Washington) and No. 38 Keion Brooks. The Lakers résumé this season is as strong as ever, with key wins over Dematha (Md.) and fellow tournament participants Sunrise Christian, Wasatch Academy and Montverde.
No. 2 McEachern High School (Ga.)
Tournament History – First appearance
Coach: Mike Thompson
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 40 Isaac Okoro and No. 21 Jr. Sharife Cooper
Notes: After 11 seasons as McEachern head coach, Mike Thompson was able to capture the first state basketball championship in program history. McEachern’s 32-0 run this season has been as impressive as any team in the country, earning them a No. 2 national ranking with wins against Shadow Mountain (Ariz.), Sunrise Christian and Rancho Christian (Ca.).
No. 3 Montverde Academy (Fla.)
Tournament History: Ninth appearance: Champions 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2018 (Runner-up in 2010, 2012 & 2017)
Coach: Kevin Boyle
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 10 Jr. Cade Cunningham, No. 16 Precious Achiuwa, No. 26 Jr. Moses Moody ,No. 42 Jr. Balsa Koprivica, No. 43 Omar Payne and No. 95 Harlond Beverly
Notes: Montverde is the most decorated team in GEICO Nationals history, winning four of the last six championships. They enter the tournament 21-2 (both losses to La Lumiere), ranked No. 3 nationally, with key wins over Sunrise Christian, Sierra Canyon (Calif.), Rancho Christian and Oak Hill (Va.). Notable Montverde alumni who have participated in the tournament include current NBA players Joel Embiid, D’Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons.
No. 4 IMG Academy (Fla.)
Tournament History: Second appearance
Coach: Sean McAloon
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 7 Josh Green, No. 11 Jr. Jaden Springer, No. 18 Armando Bacot, No. 20 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and No. 45 Jr. Noah Farrakhan
Notes: IMG is loaded with five seniors ranked in the ESPN 100, including three McDonald’s All-Americans: No. 7 Josh Green (Arizona), No. 18 Armando Bacot (North Carolina) and No. 20 Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova). This is the Ascenders’ second trip to GEICO Nationals in three years, coming in ranked No. 4 in the nation with a 28-1 record and key wins over Dematha, NSU University School and Oak Hill Academy.
No. 9 Oak Hill Academy (Va.)
Tournament History: Tenth appearance: Champion 2016 (Runner-up in 2009, 2011, 2014 & 2015)
Coach: Steve Smith
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 2 Cole Anthony, No. 22 Jr. Cameron Thomas, No. 44 Kofi Cockburn, No. 60 Christian Brown
Notes: Oak Hill is one of the most decorated high school basketball programs in history. They have five GEICO Nationals finals appearances and one championship. Key wins this season came against Olive Branch (Miss.), Dorman (S.C.) and Santa Margarita, (Calif.). Oak Hill alumni is filled with NBA players and All-Stars including Carmelo Anthony, Steve Blake, Kevin Durant, Stephen Jackson, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Ron Mercer, Rajon Rando, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and Rod Strickland.
No. 10 Wasatch Academy (Utah)
Tournament History: Third appearance
Coach: David Evans
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 48 Jr. Mady Sissoko
Notes: After an impressive three years at Lone Peak, Coach Evans took the job at Wasatch Academy in 2018 and led the Tigers to a 26-3 record and top 10 national ranking, with key wins over Meadowcreek (Ga.), Santa Margarita and Sunrise Christian.
No. 14 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.)
Tournament History: First appearance
Coach: Luke Barnwell
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 15 Jr. N’Faly Dante
Notes: This is the first GEICO Nationals appearance for the independent high school program at Sunrise Christian. With a reputation for never shying away from top national competition, the team recorded wins over Duncanville (Texas), Guyer (Texas), Imhotep Charter (Pa.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), Memphis East (Tenn.) and NSU University School.
No. 21 NSU University School (Fla.)
Tournament History: Second appearance (runner-up in 2018)
Coach: Jim Carr
ESPN Ranked Players: No. 3 Vernon Carey Jr. and No. 4 Jr. Scottie Barnes
Notes: NSU University School made a statement last season when they advanced to the finals of the GEICO Nationals in their first tournament appearance. They return with a new coach, but are still led by senior No. 3 Vernon Cary Jr. (Duke). Junior Scottie Barnes is back as well, as the No. 4 ranked player in the class of 2020. The Sharks find themselves ranked in the top 25, with notable wins over Gonzaga Prep (Wash.), Vashon (Mo.) as well as an impressive repeat as FHSAA 5A State Champions.
2019 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Girls Teams
No. 1 Miami Country Day School (Fla.)
Tournament History: Third appearance: Champion 2015 and 2017
Coach: Ochiel Swaby
ESPNW Ranked Players: No. 89 Koi Love
Notes: Miami Country Day will look for a record third GEICO Nationals title on the girl’s side. Ranked No. 1 in the country and coming of their sixth FHSAA State Championship in a row (also a state record), Miami Country day will be the favorite to take home the trophy in NYC. Impressive wins this season have come against two top 10 programs and fellow tournament participants New Hope and St. John’s.
No. 2 St. John’s College High School (D.C.)
Tournament History: First appearance
Coach: Jonathan Scribner
ESPNW Ranked Players: No. 1 Sophomore Azzi Fudd and No. 56 Malu Tshitenge-Mutombo
Notes: No. 2 St. John’s has only one loss on the season that came at the hands of No. 1 Miami Country Day. St. John’s is the reigning DCSAA and WCAC champion, and they feature No. 1 sophomore Azzi Fudd, a finalist for the Gatorade Girls Basketball National Player of the Year.
No. 4 Centennial High School (Nev.)
Tournament History: First appearance
Coach: Karen Weitz
ESPNW Ranked Players: No. 43 Eboni Walker
Notes: Centennial will be the first girls’ team from the state of Nevada to participate in GEICO Nationals. Their recent fifth consecutive NIAA 4A Championship was a state record. Their only loss of the season came in December to nationally ranked Salesian College Prep (Cal.), a game in which Centennial was without its star player Eboni Walker (Arizona State).
No. 7 New Hope Academy (Md.)
Tournament History: First appearance
Coach: Sam Caldwell
ESPNW Ranked Players: No. 25 Sophomore Jada Walker, No. 81 Jennifer Ezeh and No. 97 Demi Washington
Notes: New Hope looks to continue a tradition of girls’ teams from Maryland having success at GEICO Nationals (three previous titles were claimed by Maryland teams). Seniors Jennifer Ezeh (Duke) and Demi Washington (Vanderbilt) will lead the way in the team’s first round rematch with No. 1 Miami Country Day, a game they lost by only one point in overtime.
Event History: The National High School Invitational (NHSI) launched in 2009 at Georgetown Prep in Bethesda, Md. The event was created by Paragon Marketing Group to provide a platform for top, nationally ranked high school basketball teams to compete against one another in a season-ending tournament. In 2014, the event moved to New York City and was named the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals. In 2018, the event became the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals.
Notable Tournament Alumni in the NBA (player name followed by their school, year they participated and current NBA team):
- Avery Bradley, Findlay Prep (Nev.) 2009 – Grizzlies
- Tristan Thomspon, Findlay Prep (Nev.) 2009-2010 – Cavaliers
- Justin Anderson, Montrose Christian (Md.) 2009-2012 – Hawks
- Austin Rivers, Winter Park (Fla.) 2010-2011 – Rockets
- Joel Embiid, Montverde (Fla,) 2012 – 76ers
- Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep (Texas) 2013 – Knicks
- Terrance Ferguson, Prime Prep (Texas) 2013 – Thunder
- D’Angelo Russell, Montverde (Fla.) 2013-2014 – Nets
- Kelly Oubre, Findlay Prep (Nev.) 2014 – Suns
- Ben Simmons, Montverde (Fla.) 2013-2015 – 76ers
- Jaylen Brown, Wheeler (Ga.) 2015 – Celtics
- Thomas Bryant, Huntington Prep (W.Va.) 2015 – Wizards
- Jaren Jackson Jr. La Lumiere (Ind.) 2017 – Grizzlies
For in-depth coverage of the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals, including highlights and exclusive behind the scenes content, follow @whosnexths on Twitter and Instagram.
Tickets are available now at geicohoops.com. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Walk-up tickets will also be available for purchase at Christ The King High School, during the tournament April 4-6.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles. To make changes, report claims, print insurance cards and purchase additional products, policyholders can access their insurance policy here, connect via GEICO Mobile, phone or by visiting a GEICO local agent. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft and term life coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Visit www.geico.com for a quote or to learn more.
About Paragon Marketing Group
Paragon Marketing Group is a corporate consulting agency specializing in sports, entertainment and cause related sponsorships. Paragon owns and operates the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals and has collaborated with ESPN over the past 16 years to deliver over 600 live high school football, basketball, and lacrosse telecasts featuring many of the top teams and players in the nation. Paragon collaborates with ESPN on the following live properties:
GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff & Showcase
GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase
GEICO State Champions Bowl Series
GEICO High School Basketball Nationals
GEICO High School Lacrosse Showcase
GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals
For further information on the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals and for media credential requests please contact: [email protected]
ESPN media contact:
Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp
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