2015 American Residential Services Penny Hardaway National Hoop Fest Preview
The 4th annual American Residential Services Penny Hardaway Hoop Fest has become a can't miss, must see on the basketball calendar.
This year is no exception, nationally ranked teams, several high level D1 signees, an ESPN nationally televised contest and three venues to accommodate the influx of folks wanting to be a part of the greatest show on the hardwood.
Games will be held at DyerCountyHigh School in Newburn, TN, HaywoodCountyHigh School in Brownsville, TN and ArlingtonHigh School in Arlington, TN.
One of the new participating sites, Arlington High School will host the showcase Saturday schedule highlighted by a nationally televised affair between powerful Oak Hill Academy and the favorite to win the Class AAA state crown in the Volunteer state the Wildcats of Memphis Hamilton.
That game tips at 3:00 and can be found on ESPN, which incidentally is the only prep contest that will be featured on the flagship station of the powerful sports empire this season.
A monstrous line-up highlights the action on Saturday beginning at 1:00 with Germantown (TN) taking on Louisiana stalwart University Laboratory School from Baton Rouge.
University is led by senior power forward and Tulane signee Maxwell Starwood but feature a fearsome foursome of the states top juniors including 6'6 power forward Darwin White, 6'5 wing Bladrick Veal, 6'5 post Wayde Sims and highly sought after 6'1 point guard Skyler Mays who has drawn interest from SEC member LSU.
The aforementioned nationally televised contest features two of the Bluff City's favorite sons leading the juggernaut Tigers of Hamilton High School in Memphis against the Warriors of Oak Hill Academy.
Hamilton rides on the broad shoulders of the brothers Lawson. Keelon, a 6'6 wing forward and "little" brother Dedric, a 6'8 lead guard, have both signed to continue their hoops legacy with the hometown Tigers at the University of Memphis.
The Warriors led by nationally acclaimed coach Steve Smith have assembled another outstanding group led by ESPN Top 50 player Dwayne Bacon, a 6'6 monster who will attend Florida State, and 6'10 Daniel Giddens, another ESPN Top 100 recruit who has decided to play his college basketball at Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State.
Josh Reeves, a 6'1 shooting guard, who will attend Penn State and Andrew Fleming, a 6'4 shooting guard who has inked with Iowa round out the D1 seniors for the Warriors.
The host squad Arlington led by junior shooting prodigy Nathan Hoover will battle Hoop Fest regular Simeon from the vaunted hallows of Chicago.
Simeon is led by a pair of outstanding seniors and nationally ranked players in 6'7 wing and Illinois signee D.J. Williams and 6'7 power forward and Nebraska signee Ed Morrow.
The Chicago power is known for their depth and also feature senior Isaiah Moss, an Iowa commitment, and a handful of talented juniors who are all members of the ESPN top 100 led by shooting guard Zach Norvell and wing forward Ben Coupet.
Volunteer state fans rejoice as a matchup of two of the state perennial powers clash with Christ Presbyterian Academy from Nashville and state tournament regular Memphis Southwind doing battle in the 6:30 clash.
CPA is led by ESPN Top 20 junior 6'7 guard Braxton Blackwell and Class of 2019 point guard phenom Tyger Campbell. The Lions have played in the last three Class AA state tournaments, winning two of them.
Southwind counters with Ole Miss signee Donte Fitzpatrick and a host of some of the best young players in the city including junior guard Lucky Cheatham, junior guard Eric Turner and freshman phenom point guard Mark Freeman.
Last but certainly not least the nightcap features traditional state power Memphis White Station led by senior guard Nych Smith and Oregon gridiron commitment junior guard Dillon Mitchell taking on national power Whitney Young from Chicago at 8:00.
The Dolphins reloaded with a host of high level junior talent including 6'5 wing Skyler Nash and 6'1 shooting guard Rodney Herenton.
The kick-off games for the Penny begin on Thursday at picturesque Dyer County High School with three contests including the Dyer County (TN) girls battling Dresden (TN) followed by boys action with Martin Westview (TN) taking on Memphis Ridgeway and outstanding senior guard Khalil Spencer. The finale of the evening features the host Choctaws of Dyer County welcoming perennial Class AAA state tournament participant Murfreesboro Siegel.
Dual sites highlight the action on Friday with multiple contests at each venue. At Dyer County the Lady Choctaws take on Union City (TN) at 6:30 followed by their male counterparts welcoming Class A state power Lake County at 8:00.
Over at Haywood County High School, the action starts hot and heavy with the aforementioned Dolphins of Whitney Young taking on Lexington (TN) and Memphis signee 6'10 post Nick Marshall at 6:30.
The evening showdown has the host Tomcats of Haywood County led by a pair of senior college prospects in 6'3 guard Kyler Douglas and 6'6 wing Jordon Varnado welcoming the powerful Chicago Simeon crew.