NYC To Host Eight of the Top Boys Teams and Four of the Top Girls Teams in the Country in the GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Tournament

New York – March 14, 2018 – The GEICO High School Basketball Nationals (formerly DICK’S Nationals) returns to New York City for the fifth consecutive year, and tenth season overall. Featuring the best high school basketball talent in the country, this year’s pool will include seven total state champions.

In the boys field,  seven of the top eleven ranked teams in the nation will participate, including the top four. The independent schools invited are all past winners and include Montverde Academy (Fla.), Oak Hill (Va.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), and 2017 champion La Lumiere (Ind.).  The other four boys teams in the field all won their respective state championships and include University School (Fla.), Shadow Mountain (Ariz.), Garfield (Wash.) and Lone Peak (Ut.).

In the girls field, three teams won their respective state championships, including Westlake (Ga.), Central Valley (Wash.) and Winter Haven (Fla.), while independent Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.) rounds out the four team field.

The three-day, single-elimination tournament begins Thursday, March 29, at noon ET with the boys quarterfinals on ESPNU, and continues on Friday, March 30, with the girls semifinals (11 a.m. & 1 p.m., ESPNU) and boys semifinals (3 p.m. & 5 p.m., ESPN2). The tournament culminates on Saturday, March 31, with the girls championship (10 a.m.,ESPN2) and the boys championship game (noon, ESPN).

Six McDonald’s All-American representatives will participate in the tournament, including: R.J. Barrett (Montverde), David McCormack (Oak Hill), Bol Bol (Findlay Prep), and Keldon Johnson (Oak Hill) for the boys; Jazmine Massengill and Elizabeth Balogun of Hamilton Heights for the girls.

Tickets are available now at General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

To be eligible for the tournament, participating schools must be a four-year high school, independent or public, and have their respective governing body’s permission to participate. Tournament teams are chosen by a selection committee.

2018 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Boys Teams
Team rankings per USA Today High School Sports; Player rankings per ESPN 100 (Class of 2018), ESPN 60 (Class of 2019) and ESPN 25 (Class of 2020)


School (State) 2017-2018 Record
No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) 32-0
No. 2 University School (Fla.) 34-1
No. 3 Findlay Prep (Nev.) 31-4
No. 4 Shadow Mountain (Ariz.) 25-1
No. 7 La Lumiere School (Ind.) 23-3
No. 11 Garfield HS (Wash.) 28-1
No. 25 Lone Peak High School (Ariz.) 23-3
Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 40-1

Montverde Academy (Fla.)

Tournament History: Eighth appearance; Champions 2013, 2014 & 2015 (Runner-up in 2010, 2012. 2017)

Coach: Kevin Boyle

Ranked Players: No. 1 Sr. R.J. Barrett; No. 30 Sr. Andrew Nembhard; No. 41 Sr. Mike Devoe; No. 52 Sr. Filip Petrusev; No. 27 Jr. Balsa Koprivica; No. 28 Jr. Makhi Mitchell

Notes: Montverde is the most successful program in GEICO Nationals tournament history, having won three titles and making it to the finals five of the last six seasons. They enter the tournament undefeated and ranked No. 1 nationally. Notable Montverde alumni who have participated in the tournament include current NBA players Joel Embiid, D’Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons.

NSU University School (Fla.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: Adrian Sosa

Ranked Players: No. 2 Jr. Vernon Carey Jr.; No. 5 Soph. Scottie Barnes

Notes: The Sharks won 34 games this season on their way to an FHSAA 5A state title. Their single loss came against national power Oak Hill Academy. Impressive wins came against Top 25 teams Mater Dei (Ca.), McEachern (Ga.) and No. 6 Memphis East (Tenn.). University School enters their first GEICO Nationals with a No. 2 national ranking.

Findlay Prep (Nev.)

Tournament History: Tenth appearance; Champions 2009, 2010 & 2012
Coach: Paul Washington
Ranked Players: No. 4 Bol Bol

Notes: Findlay Prep is the only team to appear in this tournament during all 10 years of its existence. They also tie Montverde with three titles. This season the Pilots are led by Oregon commit Bol Bol, the son of the tallest player in NBA history, Manute Bol. Findlay alums who have participated in the tournament include current NBA players Avery Bradley, Corey Joseph, Tristan Thompson and Kelly Oubre. Notable games include wins over No. 4 Shadow Mountain (AZ), #16 Paul VI (VA) and #23 Bishop Gorman (NV).

La Lumiere School (Ind.)

Tournament History: Sixth appearance; Champions in 2017 (Runner-up in 2016)

Coach: Pat Holmes

Ranked Players: No. 99 Sr. Tyger Campbell; No. 13 Jr. Isaiah Stewart

Notes: After an overtime tip-in buzzer-beater loss to Oak Hill in the 2016 finals, La Lumiere broke through and won their first title last year, defeating Montverde Academy in the finals. First year Head Coach Pat Holmes took over for Shane Heirman, who became an Assistant Coach at DePaul. Despite losing two McDonald’s All-Americans from 2017, La Lumiere maintained a 23-3 record on the way to a No. 7 national ranking with key wins over No. 9 Imhotep Charter (PA) and No. 14 Brentwood Academy (TN)

Shadow Mountain (Ariz.)

Tournament History: Second appearance

Coach: Mike Bibby

Notes: Shadow Mountain returns for their second straight tournament invite, after winning the AIA 4A State Championship. This was the third state title in a row for Bibby and the sixth overall for the school. Bibby played for Shadow Mountain in the mid-nineties before going on to be an All-American at the University of Arizona and the 2nd overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft. The Matadors only loss was to No. 3 Findlay Prep, and the average margin of victory in their three playoff games leading up to the state finals was over 30 points.

Garfield High School (Wash.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: Brandon Roy

Ranked Players: No. 79 Sr. J’Raan Brooks; No. 45 Jr. P.J. Fuller

Notes: Brandon Roy made the return to his alma mater this season, Garfield, the school that holds the most state titles in the history of Washington high school basketball with 14. Although Roy was not able to win a title during his playing days for the Bulldogs over fifteen years ago, he was able to bring one home this season as coach of the WIAA 3A state champions. Garfield only has one loss on the season, and they enter their first GEICO Nationals ranked No. 11 nationally.

Lone Peak High School (Ut.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: David Evans

Notes: Despite the school only existing for twenty years, Lone Peak has an incredible nine Utah state championships, which includes an impressive string of eight in the past ten years, as well as a state record four championships in row from 2011-2014. Their only three losses this season came against teams ranked in the USA Today HS Super 25 Expert Rankings. 2016 Lone Peak graduate Frank Jackson went on to play for Duke and is currently with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

Tournament History: Ninth appearance; Champion 2016 (Runner-up in 2009, 2011, 2014 & 2015)

Coach: Steve Smith

Ranked Players: No. 6 Sr. Keldon Johnson; No. 28 Sr. David McCormack; No. 31 Sr. Will Richardson; No. 90 Sr. Keyontae Johnson

Notes: Oak Hill is quite possibly the most decorated high school basketball program in history; this includes five GEICO Nationals finals appearances and one title. The Oak Hill alumni list is filled with NBA players and All-Stars including Carmelo Anthony, Steve Blake, Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Rajon Rando, Josh Smith, Jerry Stackhouse and Rod Strickland. Oak Hill played a 41-game schedule this season with key wins against preseason Super 25 teams Mater Dei (CA), IMG Academy (FL) and Webster Groves (MO). In addition, they defeated No. 2 University School (FL), No. 7 La Lumiere (IN) and No. 25 Lone Peak (UT).

2018 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Girls Teams

Team rankings per espnW 25 Power Rankings; Player rankings per espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 (Class of 2018), Super 60 (Class of 2019) and Terrific 25 (Class of 2020)


School (State) 2017-2018 Record
No. 2 Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.) 24-2
No. 14 Westlake High School (Ga.) 30-1
No. 17 Central Valley HS (Wash.) 27-0
No. 20 Winter Haven HS (Fla.) 32-1

Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Tenn.)

Tournament History: Second appearance

Coach: Keisha Hunt

Ranked Players: No. 25 Sr. Elizabeth Balogun; No. 26 Jr. Jazmine Massengill; No. 3 Soph. Kamilla Cordosa; No. 10 Soph. Treasure Hunt

Notes: The first appearance for Hamilton Heights Christian in this tournament ended with a tough loss to Miami Country Day in the finals last year. They return four nationally ranked players who competed on that team last year, including seniors Elizabeth Balogun and Jazmine Massengill who are committed to Georgia Tech and Tennessee respectively. Key wins this season came against nationally ranked teams Riverdale Baptist (Md.) and Paul VI (Va.) The Lady Hawks hope their talent and experience take them one-step closer to a GEICO Nationals Championship 

Westlake High School (Ga.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Head coach: Hilda Hankerson

Notes: This is the first state championship for Hilda Hankerson, who has been the Head Coach at Westlake for over twenty years. Over fifty of her former players have received college scholarships from schools including Georgia, Clemson and Southern Mississippi. The Lions were undefeated in the state of Georgia, their only loss coming to nationally ranked Mercer County from Kentucky. After winning the GHSA 7A title, the Lions enter GEICO Nationals with a top 15 national ranking.


Central Valley High School Wash.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: Freddie Rehkow

Ranked Players: No. 16 Sr. Lexie Hull

Notes: Central Valley’s average margin of victory this season was 44 points. They went undefeated on the way to their second WIAA 4A state title in three seasons. Seniors Lexie and Lacie Hull are both Stanford commits, and the identical twins have led the Bears to a record of 100-6 during their high school careers, losing only one game the past three seasons, they are 81-1 since 2016.

Winter Haven High School (Fla.)

Tournament History: First appearance

Head coach: Johnnie Lawson

Ranked Players: No. 99 Sr. Diamond Battles

Notes: Coach Lawson has been at Winter Haven 20 years (ten as Head Coach and ten as Assistant Coach). The program has won twenty district championships, and five state championships, all of those coming within the last fifteen years. Former players have gone on to play for UConn, Kentucky, Indiana and Miami to name a few. The Blue Devils lost only one game on the way to the FHSAA 8A state championship.

2018 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Tournament Schedule
All games will be played at Christ the King High School in Queens, N.Y.

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Thu, Mar 29 Noon Boys Quarterfinal #1

#6 Shadow Mountain (Ariz.) vs. #3 Univ. School (Fla.)

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

  2 p.m. Boys Quarterfinal #2

#5 La Lumiere (Ind.) vs. #4 Findlay Prep (Nev.)

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

  4 p.m. Boys Quarterfinal #3

#7 Garfield (Wa.) vs. #2 Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

  6 p.m. Boys Quarterfinal #4

#8 Lone Peak (Ut.) vs. #1 Montverde (Fla.)

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

Fri, Mar 30 11 a.m. Girls Semifinal #1

#4 Winter Haven (Fla.) vs. #1 Hamilton Heights (Tenn.)

Eric Frede, Brooke Weisbrod, Tara Petrolino

  1 p.m. Girls Semifinal #2

#3 Central Valley (Wa.) vs. #2 Westlake (Ga.)

Eric Frede, Brooke Weisbrod, Tara Petrolino

  3 p.m. Boys Semifinal #1

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

  5 p.m. Boys Semifinal #2

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino

Sat, Mar 31 10 a.m. Girls Championship

Eric Frede, Brooke Weisbrod, Tara Petrolino

  Noon Boys Championship

Ted Emrich, Paul Biancardi, Tara Petrolino


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 season-ending 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.

Past Champions (boys team followed by girls team):

  • 2009 – Findlay Prep, NV & Seton Keough, MD
  • 2010 – Findlay Prep, NV &  Peddie School, NJ
  • 2011 – Montrose Christian, MD & Dr. Phillips, FL
  • 2012 – Findlay Prep, NV & Riverdale Baptist, MD
  • 2013 – Montverde, FL & Dr. Phillips, FL
  • 2014 – Montverde, FL & Riverdale Baptist, MD
  • 2015 – Montverde, FL & Miami Country Day, FL
  • 2016 – Oak Hill Academy, VA & Ribault, FL
  • 2017 – La Lumiere, IN & Miami Country Day, FL

Notable Tournament Alumni (player name followed by their school, year they participated and current NBA team):

  • Avery Bradley, Findlay Prep (NV) 2009 – Clippers
  • Tristan Thomspon, Findlay Prep (NV) 2009-2010 – Cavaliers
  • Justin Anderson, Montrose Christian (MD) 2009-2012 – 76ers
  • Austin Rivers, Winter Park (FL) 2010-2011 – Clippers
  • Joel Embiid, Montverde (FL) 2012 – 76ers
  • Emmanuel Mudiay, Prime Prep (TX) 2013 – Nuggets
  • Terrance Ferguson, Prime Pretp (TX) 2013 – Thunder
  • D’Angelo Russell, Montverde (FL) 2013-2014 – Nets
  • Kelly Oubre, Findlay Prep (NV) 2014 – Wizards
  • Ben Simmons, Montverde (FL) 2013-2015 – 76ers
  • Jaylen Brown, Wheeler (GA) 2015 – Celtics


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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 15 years to deliver over 500 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 Nationals

About ESPN

ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of eight U.S. 24-hour television networks and five HD simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Events, ESPN International (24 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio, ESPN Digital, ESPN The Magazine, consumer products and espnW. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

ESPN media contact:

Kimberly Elchlepp at or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp

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