FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Al Jackson
28TH GONZAGA DC CLASSIC TIPS-OFF FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9
Field Includes Teams from New York City, Florida, Chicago, Philadelphia & DC Region
All Games Played at Gonzaga College High School
December 5, 2016 – The 28th Annual Gonzaga DC Classic basketball tournament begins Friday afternoon, December 9, 2016 at Gonzaga College High School. Games Continue Saturday and Sunday at Gonzaga.
Gonzaga, #1 in the Washington Post All-Met Pre-Season rankings, will be joined in this advancing tournament by a very strong field, featuring top talent and highly recruited athletes from around the nation in this advancing tournament.
Along with Gonzaga, teams competing for the Championship include Archbishop Molloy (New York City), Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale), Whitney Young (Chicago) Archbishop Wood (Warminster, PA), St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, VA), Sidwell Friends (DC), and St. Vincent Pallotti (Laurel, MD). All proceeds from program sponsors, advertising and ticket sales go to support Gonzaga’s far-reaching service programs here in the Washington region and across the U.S. and on the U.S. – Mexico border. The tournament’s slogan is “Great Basketball Supporting Good Works.”
Games begin at 3:15 on Friday at Gonzaga when St. Stephens takes on Archbishop Molly. The 5:00 game will feature Archbishop Wood against host Gonzaga. At 6:45, Whitney Young takes on St. Vincent Pallotti and the 8:30 game will feature Dillard and Sidwell Friends.
Second round games begin at 3:15 on Saturday at Gonzaga.
In a change from past years, Sunday’s games will also be played at Gonzaga. Sunday games begin at 1:30 PM and the championship is set for 6:45 PM Sunday at Gonzaga’s Carmody Center.
The entire tournament will be webcast and can be viewed at the tournament website: www.gonzagadcclassic.org. The official tournament twitter feed can be found at @gonzagaclassic.
Qualified organizations and individuals (press, college coaches, scouting services) may request tournament passes via email to Al Jackson at email@example.com. Please include name and links to your publication(s), website(s) and/or twitter feed(s).
Brief profiles of participating teams can be found below.
Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC)
The 2015-2016 edition of the Gonzaga Eagles will feature the return of the team’s four leading scorers from last year, a squad that went 24-10, including key victories against Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rivals Paul VI, DeMatha and O’Connell. The team is led by senior point guard Chris Lykes (5’8”), a University of Miami commit who averaged 22 points per game last season. Lykes is joined by junior guard Prentiss Hubb (6’3”) who, along with Lykes, was named to the All-WCAC Conference Team last season. Hubb has multiple offers (Maryland, Villanova, UVA, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and others) and scored 10.5 points per game in 2015-2016. Penn commit Eddie Scott (6’6”), a senior forward, returns as does junior forward Myles Dread (6’5”), who will play at Penn State upon graduation. Senior Michael Myers (6’3”), who recently committed to play at Williams College, will provide needed support. Watch as well for sophomores Josh Watts (6’4”) and Anwar Gill (6’4”) in the backcourt.
“I’m very excited about our team and our prospects for this season,” said Gonzaga’s Head Coach, Steve Turner. “We’ve got great chemistry and experience as we head into an incredibly competitive WCAC season. We’re happy, as always, to get started by hosting the Gonzaga DC Classic. Thanks to all the coaches, players and volunteers who make this great tournament happen.”
Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood, NY)
This year marks the ninth appearance of the Archbishop Molloy Stanners in the DC Classic, which includes tournament championships in 1999 and 2001. Molloy is under the direction of Coach Mike McCleary, now in his 4th year. The Stanners have a young team with five returning lettermen from last year’s team and only two seniors on the roster. Last year’s team finished 22-6, earning the regular season Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan Championship.
Key for the Stanners this year are 6-6 junior forward Khalid Moore (9.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg), 7-1junior center Moses Brown (8.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and 6-2 sophomore guard Cole Anthony (16.1 ppg, 3.1 apg, 6.5 rpg). All of these players are being recruited by the highest level of college basketball. Jackson Vertucci and John Herring are seniors who will contribute scoring and defense. John is also a member of the baseball team at Molloy and has received numerous offers for baseball. Other players to watch are Joe Hoch, Marc Villa, Ray Diaz, Marcus North, Orrin Barfield, Phil Georgio and Nick Balfour all rising from last year’s JV team. Transfers Jade Tse and Treston Livingston provide more experience for the Stanners.
Archbishop Wood (Warminster, PA)
Archbishop Wood is making their 1st Trip to the Gonzaga DC Classic. Under the direction of 4th year coach, John Mosco, the Vikings, are looking to improve upon their 9th place finish and overtime quarterfinal loss to Archbishop Carroll in the highly competitive Philadelphia Catholic League.
The Vikings return 4 of 5 Starters in 2016 and 7 players who saw significant minutes in 2016, including 80% of the teams scoring from a year ago. Returning starters include 2 All-League Players in Sr. Collin Gillespie, a 3rd team all-league performer a year ago with offers from Maine, Albany, and FDU, and Jr. Tyree Pickron, a 2nd Team all-league player in 2016, with offers from Stony Brook, Drexel, and Delaware St. Other returning starters include Jr. Seth Pinkney, a 6’11 Center (offers from Temple, St. Joe’s, and UMass among others) and Sr. Guard Keith Otto. Other Key returnees include Sr. Guard Matt Cerruti, Jr’s Andrew Funk (Lafayette Offer) and Karrington Wallace (NJIT Offer), and So. Julius Phillips.
Dillard High School (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Dillard Coach Darryl Burrows, now in his 24th season at this perennial South Florida basketball powerhouse, has a returning squad that many are picking to repeat last year’s feat as Florida’s Class 6A State Champions. They have a bulls-eye on their backs, but Coach Burrows believes they are ready.
Returning seniors include Raiquan Gray (6’8”), a guard who can play all five positions. Gray, who averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game, is committed to play at Florida State next year after being selected to the All County First Team by both the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald. He is joined by Jordan Wright (6’6”) who is one of the top football players in the state and has multiple offers to play either sport in college. Wright averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game last season, when he was also selected to the All County First Team by both local newspapers. Rounding out the impressive group of seniors is Robert Johnson (6’8”), a power forward who will play at the Citadel next season and Joniya Gadson (6’9”), who will play at Bowling Green next year. Keep an eye out, as well, for point guard Seth Coddington (6’1”).
Sidwell Friends School (Washington, DC)
The Quakers are coached by Eric Singletary ’93. This is his 10th season heading up the program, located in Northwest Washington, DC. The program has enjoyed much success during Singletary’s tenure, including 3 consecutive MAC championships ’10-’12. The Quakers have also earned 3 trips to the newly found DCSAA state tournament. This year’s squad boasts 6 seniors and 5 returning starters from last year’s MAC runner up. The Quakers finished 19-10 in the 2015-16 campaign. The team is led by captains, Jelani Williams, Abass Sallah and Zach Mazlish. Williams, a 6’5” senior PG has committed to the University of Pennsylvania and averaged 17.8ppg, 7.4rpg, 5.8apg. Sallah, Ross Young, Ace Stallings, and Jason Gibson round out the returning starters. 6’6” JR G, Saddiq Bey will provide a huge punch for this year’s team. The Quakers look to have success in their fourth appearance in the Gonzaga/DC Classic.
St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School (Alexandria, VA)
The Saints are coming off a 2015-2016 campaign in which they posted with a 19-9 record. The team earned a 3rd place regular season finish and 2nd place tournament finish in the small and competitive Interstate Athletic Conference. The Saints compete in the Virginia Independent Schools State Association. Last season ended with an appearance in the VISAA Final Four. The Saints graduated Harrison Bluestein (Rollins College Lacrosse), Matthew Fisher (Penn State Lacrosse), Michael Janowski, David Karol, Chauncey Pittman (Marymount University Basketball), and Andrew Trainer (University of Illinois Football). Andrew Trainer was an all-league selection in the Interstate Athletic Conference.
This season The Saints have three seniors. Denmark Slay II (Captain), who has signed a NLI to play at High Point University, averaged 16.1 ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.8apg, and 1.3 spg. Denmark Slay II was an all-league selection in the Interstate Athletic Conference. Myles Lewis averaged 5.8ppg, 2.8rpg, and 1.1 apg. Michael McEneney IV has made a verbal commitment to play basketball at Hamilton College. The team this season is young (2 Freshmen, 5 Sophomores, 1 Junior, 3 Seniors) and talented, and they are honored to have the opportunity to compete in the 2016 Gonzaga DC Classic Basketball Tournament.
St. Vincent Pallotti (Laurel, MD)
St. Vincent Pallotti High School from Laurel, Maryland returns to the Gonzaga DC Classic for the first time since 1995. The Panthers competed last year in the competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) “A” Conference for the first time in school history, losing in the playoffs to the eventual champion by three points at the buzzer.
Led by 4th year head Coach Dennis Murphy, the Panthers return a talented young team from last year’s team including 6’3” senior combo guard Everette Hammond, who averaged 13.5PPG last season. Super sophomore’s 6’8”Abdoul Karim Coulibaly and 6’3” Ronell Giles (3.5GPA) who both played on varsity last season are expected to be major contributors this year. 5’11” junior combo guard, Stephen Cannady (3.5GPA), who returns as a starter, is a sharp shooting guard with a high basketball IQ.
Murphy expects contributions from junior 6’5” Amir Warrick (3.6GPA) and sophomore 6’5” Gilbert Otoo (4.5GPA). Additionally, senior 6’3” Justin Brewer returns this season after being the 6th man last season. Brewer adds toughness to the team and is one of their leaders.
Hammond has been part of the program for four years, getting better every year and has Division I offers from Canisius, Quinnipiac, Siena, Robert Morris, and Farleigh Dickinson to name a few.
This past summer Coulibaly competed in the FIBA championships in Spain with his native country of Mali and averaged 14PPG and 9 rebounds. Coulibaly currently holds offers from Tulane, St. John’s (NY), and Boston College with several others showing strong interest.
“We are excited to participate in this year’s Gonzaga DC Classic. I am well aware of the prestige and history that goes along with the tournament. We play a very tough out of conference schedule versus St. John’s (DC), Poly (Baltimore) and Georgetown Prep and this is a great measuring stick early in the season to see where we are. I have known Coach Turner for many years and we are honored to be a part of the 2016 Gonzaga DC Classic” says Coach Murphy.
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (Chicago, IL)
Whitney Young High School was the state’s 4A Champion in 2014, is ranked in the top 10 Illinois high school teams in the 2016-2017 preseason rankings. Notable alumni include top player in the country, Jahlil Okafor, #3 in the NBA draft playing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Brimming with young talent, coach Tyrone Slaughter has an outstanding foundation of youth that is ready to shine and surprise, starting with 6’1 junior Xavier Castaneda, one of the top point guards in the state. 6’4 junior shooter Justin Boyd, and 6’5 senior Lucas Williamson will step up now with bigger opportunities. Other contributors include: Craig Beaudion, a 6’4 guard; Jake Kosakowski, a 6’5 junior; and 6’6 senior Justin Stovall. A transfer from Seton includes Javon Freeman, a 6’3 guard.