FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Al Jackson
26TH GONZAGA DC CLASSIC TIPS-OFF FRIDAY, DECMEBER 12
Strong DC – Maryland Field Joined by Teams from Philadelphia, New York City
December 8, 2014 – The 26th Annual Gonzaga DC Classic basketball tournament begins Friday afternoon, December 12, 2014 at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. Games continue Saturday and Sunday at Bender Arena at American University.
Ranked #4 in the area by the Washington Post as the season begins, Gonzaga will be joined in this advancing tournament by seven teams from the Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City regions.
Teams appearing this year are Gonzaga, Calvert Hall College High School (Baltimore, MD), Capitol Christian Academy (Landover, MD), Cardinal Hayes High School (Bronx, NY), Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Baltimore, MD), Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, MD), Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA), and Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (Washington, DC).
All proceeds from program sponsors, ticket and merchandise sales go to support Gonzaga’s far-reaching service programs here in the Washington region and across the U.S. and Latin America. The tournament’s slogan is “Great Basketball Supporting Good Works”.
Games begin Friday at 3:15 when Cardinal Hayes takes on Capitol Christian; Gonzaga v. Mt. Carmel follows at 5:00; Roman Catholic v. Theodore Roosevelt is at 6:45; Friday’s opening round concludes with Calvert Hall v. Riverdale Baptist at 8:30 PM. All Friday games will be played in the Carmody Center gym at Gonzaga College High School. Second round games begin at 3:15 on Saturday at Bender Arena at American University; Final round consolation and championship games begin at 1:30 on Sunday at A.U. Tickets are $10.00 per day for adults, $5.00 for students.
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.
Brief profiles of participating teams can be found below.
Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC)
Gonzaga Head Varsity Basketball Coach Steve Turner is looking forward to the 2014-2015 campaign. After a challenging season last year, with multiple injuries to key players throughout the winter, the Eagles begin the season as among the top teams in the hyper-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC).
Senior guard Bryant Crawford, a Wake Forest commit, and sophomore guard Chris Lykes — who is receiving interest from Maryland, Virginia and Xavier, among others — make-up what many believe to be the best back court in the WCAC. Senior 6’8″ big man Sam Miller, who will head to Dayton next year, can handle the ball both in the paint and on the perimeter. Those three will likely be joined by junior Nigel Stewart and 6’4″ freshman Eddie Scott as Gonzaga starters. In addition to Scott, Gonzaga adds two other freshmen worth watching to their roster, including guard Prentiss Hubb, who comes to Gonzaga from the Washington Jesuit Academy where he graduated as salutatorian of his class, and Myles Dread, who will remind some of former Eagle Kris Jenkins, who is currently playing for Big East power Villanova. Senior guard Sean Williams — Gonzaga’s Student Body President — and junior 6’9″ center Jack Lawrence will come off the bench for the Eagles. Finally, Gonzaga’s basketball roster includes two highly-recruited future SEC football players, Richie Pettibon, an offensive lineman headed for Alabama, and Jabari Greenwood, a 6’5″ wide-receiver who will play at the University of Kentucky.
Coach Turner says he loves playing in the Gonzaga DC Classic. “It’s a great tradition at Gonzaga, for a great cause, and always a terrific way to start the season,” said Turner. “Thanks to all of the guys who work so hard to make it happen.”
Calvert Hall College High School (Baltimore, MD)
Calvert Hall Varsity Basketball Coach John Bauersfeld enters the 2014-2015 season coming off of a highly successful 29-8 record last year in the highly competitive Baltimore Catholic League. He has an experienced squad with six seniors among his seven returning varsity athletes.
Calvert Hall is led by senior Drew Edwards, a 6’4″ guard who is headed for Providence College next year. He is joined on the wing by Nico Clareth, a 6’4″ dynamic scorer who has received plenty of Division 1 interest but has yet to declare his intentions. The Cardinals boast a 6’8″ center in Evan Phoenix who will play for Central Connecticut State beginning next year. Edwards, Clareth and Phoenix accounted for about 37 points per game for Calvert Hall last year. They are joined by Reggie Rouse, a senior point guard who has started for Calvert Hall each of the last three years. The starting five will likely be rounded out by junior Justin Gorham, a 6’7″ forward who had a great summer season. He is likely to have multiple D-1 offers before this year’s season is over.
Other notable seniors on the team include three-point specialist T.J. Duckett and Kenji Bahar, who is headed to Monmouth College to play football.
“We’re looking forward to returning to play in the Gonzaga D.C. Classic,” said Coach Bauersfeld, a 1994 graduate of Calvert Hall. “Our school, like Gonzaga, has a strong tradition of Catholic service and we are pleased to be a part of its tradition of great basketball supporting good works.”
Capitol Christian Academy (Landover, MD)
Coach Van Whitfield begins the 2014-2015 campaign with a relatively young squad, but one from which much is expected. After going 22-11 last year, Coach Whitfield is hoping to improve on his team’s performance.
Malik Norfleet (5’10″ point guard) and Kwame Camon (6’3″ junior shooting guard) will handle the back-court duties for Coach Whitfield. Norfleet is a quick guard whose pressure defense fits right into Whitfield’s trap schemes. Camon can score but he is also an excellent passer. Camon’s court awareness and finishing ability will give opposing teams problems on defense. Chris Orlina (6’5″ junior forward), Nate Watson (6’8 freshman forward), and Kobbey Ayete (6’7″ sophomore forward) will handle the front court assignments; however, Orlina, at 6’5, can put the ball on the floor and make plays. Ayete is an athlete who can get out on the fast-break, block shots, and rebound while Watson will provide the team with a much needed presence in the post.
After a busy summer, Capitol Christian plays a challenging regular season schedule, including games against national powers like Oak Hill Academy (VA) and St. Benedict (NJ) and local Capital Beltway Conference opponents. The coach and the team are looking forward to playing in the Gonzaga DC Classic as they continue their quest to always be improving.
Cardinal Hayes High School (Bronx, NY)
Cardinal Hayes is proud to make its first appearance in the Gonzaga DC Classic basketball tournament led by Coach Joe Lods, now in his seventh season (166-41). The Cardinals have a veteran team of seven lettermen from last year’s team which finished 27-2, won the Archdiocesan Championship and reached the Finals of the CHSAA NY City Championship for the third consecutive year.
Key for the Cardinals this year are junior guard Clive Allen (6-0) with 10.0 ppg and 5.0 apg, junior guard Baron Goodridge (5-11) with 8.0 ppg and 8.0 apg, senior forward Jeff Hayden (6-3) with 8.0 ppg, senior forward Chris Middleton (6-6) with 6.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg, senior forward Kashif Davis (6-9) with 6.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg and senior center Akintye Ojo (6-10) with 10.0 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 3.0 bpg. Akintye Ojo received second team All-League CHSAA honors. He has committed to play for the Manhattan College Jaspers. Steven Arowosegbe, Jordan Lee and Romello Rashad are seniors who will contribute veteran leadership, defensive quickness and rebounding. Other players to watch are juniors Pedro Marquez, Reggie Quezada, Marques Drakeford, Quran Brickhouse, Rafael Amaro and Victor Montenegro, all joining the Varsity from the last year’s City Champion JV team.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Baltimore, MD)
This year is the first appearance of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in the Gonzaga DC classic. OLMC is under the direction of Tom Rose, who begins his 13th season at the school. The Cougars compete in the highly competitive Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association “A” league and the Baltimore Catholic League.
The team returns 4 starters from last year’s team, key returners are second team all Baltimore Catholic League selection, 6’7 Senior forward Will Jenkins, III, honorable mention selections Senior 6’2 guard, Franklin Webb, Jr. and Junior 6’9 Center David Erebor and returning starting Senior point guard, Brian Jefferson, Jr. who will play a significant role in directing the Cougars on the court. Added depth will be provided by young and upcoming players in 6’2 sophomore guard Terry Nolan, Jr. and in 6’4 freshmen swingman Montez Mathis. Also, other players to watch are seniors guard Lloyd Meeks, forward Mhonte Newsome, guard Tyquan Bryant and juniors forward Davon Davis and point guard Kai Hardy. The Cougars are looking to improve on their 2013-14 campaign of 16-15 and a berth in the MIAA “A” playoffs.
Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, MD)
Riverdale Baptist School is making its first appearance in the Gonzaga DC Classic Tournament. The Crusaders are coming off a very successful campaign last season when they went 30-9 and won the Maryland State Private School Championship. The Crusaders finished the season ranked #1 by the National Christian School Athletic Association, #2 by the Prince George’s County Gazette, and #4 by the Washington Post.
Led by Head Coach Louis Wilson, the two-time defending Capital Beltway Athletic Association Champions return a talented squad for the 2014-15 season. Kenny Wormley, a 6’3” point guard, is committed to play at Siena College. Last season, he averaged 6 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.0 steals per game. Senior DeQuan Abrom is a 6’2” first team All Capital Beltway Athletic Association league guard. Abrom has caught the eyes of programs such as Norfolk State, Sacred Heart, Fairfield and St. Francis. Other players expected to pace the Crusaders this season are senior Isaiah Robinson, a 6’5” forward and junior Cassius Blount, a 6’2” shooting guard.
Coach Wilson notes that the following players have moved up from the Junior Varsity and are expected to contribute this year. They are seniors Duane Harper, Jr., a 6’3” forward and Tavar Merriman, a 5’9” point guard. Juniors Jasper Sterling, a 6’1” point guard and Stephon Mingo, a 6’5” forward, along with sophomore Deon Savage, a 6’6” forward, will also see quality playing time. The Crusaders are the beneficiaries of a handful of talented players who are new additions to the program. Malik Dupree, a 6’8” junior transfer from Frederick Douglas High School, is a big strong forward with soft hands. Breyon Jackson, a 6’8”sophomore forward hailing from the state of Ohio, is a big-time rebounder and will attack the basket with power. Sophomore Cyril Ogbuagu, a 6’6” forward from Nigeria, is a very physical player with a smooth jump shot. Also joining the Riverdale Baptist squad this season are Curtis Williams, a 6’ junior guard transfer from Good Counsel High School and Deion Hammond, a 6’2” sophomore guard from the Bullis School. Finally, Raine McKeython is a 6’0″ guard who joins the Crusaders after transferring from Georgetown Prep.
Notably, Coach “Lou” is closing in on his 600th high school basketball win this season. “Being born and raised here in the Washington, D.C. area, I know that the Gonzaga DC Classic is a great tournament with great teams from our area and around the country,” says Coach Wilson. He added, “We are delighted to be a part of one of the nation’s prestigious high school basketball events.”
Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)
In 2013-2014 Roman Catholic HS finished 25-3 and won the PIAA District XII AAAA Championship (City of Philadelphia). The Cahillites finished undefeated in the Philadelphia Catholic League regular season. At points of the 2013-2014 season Roman Catholic’s basketball team was ranked as one of the top teams in the state of Pennsylvania and even cracking the top 25 nationally by various publications.
Roman graduated seniors Rashann London (Drexel) & Shep Garner (Penn State) in 2013-2014. Both are seeing significant time as freshmen at their respective schools. Roman returns 5 other players from its rotation last Season. Senior forward Trevaughn Wilkerson (6’6″), has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Hartford next season. Senior wing Gemil Holbrook also signed a letter of intent to attend Rider University after graduation from Roman next June. Roman’s final senior, 6’5″ power forward Manny Taylor has verbally committed to Rutgers University on a football scholarship. Junior point guard Tony Carr will be back at the helm for the Cahillites. Carr was an all-league selection in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Juniors Nazeer Bostick and D’andre Vilmar will be key contributors at the guard position. Junior power forward Paul Newman (6’7″) will provide very good depth in the frontcourt.
Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (Washington, DC)
The Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders enter the 2014-2015 with high expectations. They play in the highly competitive District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA). Last year’s squad, with an overall record of 25-6, won the DCIAA championship and upset the WCAC’s St. John’s in the City Title Game. However, Coach Rob Nickens must replace their leading scorer, AllMet Johnnie Shuler, and other powerful players including big man Jibreel Faulkner. They will have their hands full with local powers HD Woodson, Coolidge, and Cardozo High Schools.
Theodore Roosevelt returns 6’4″ forward/wing Anthony Whitney, a senior who averaged 11 points per game last season and should fill in aptly as the Rough Riders’ go to scorer. Other senior leaders include guards Dvonte Kay, Aaron Massey and Meghale Ford. Joseph Adedayo and Ce’Likk Payne round out the group of seniors at Roosevelt and will be among their front court scorers.
Theodore Roosevelt is ranked among the top 20 teams in the DC area by the Washington Post headed into the 2014-2015 campaign. An ambitious schedule playing against consistently challenging opponents should only make them stronger.