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December 16, 2009

New Heights Holiday Hoop Festival

Top Local and National High School Basketball Teams
Square-Off in NYC Holiday Tournament


The best high school basketball programs from across the United States and Canada will descend on New York City for the first annual New Heights Holiday Hoop Festival on Dec. 18-19.

Teams from Illinois, Canada, Connecticut, Massachusetts, DC, Pennsylvania and New Jersey will square off in this unique eight-team holiday tournament to be held at the famed Rose Hill Gymnasium at Fordham University. Not to be left out, four of the best high school programs from New York City - Bishop Loughlin, Lincoln, Cardozo and Christ the King - will participate in two Showcase Games.

New York City Showcase Games

For New York City basketball fans, the highlight of the event will be the two Showcase Games involving four of the Top 10 teams in New York City, including reigning City Champion Abraham Lincoln of Coney Island. On Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m., Christ the King and Cardozo will play in our "Kings of Queens" game. At 8:30 p.m. that evening, Bishop Loughlin and Lincoln will play in the "Battle of Brooklyn."

These borough rivals rarely face each other, so this is a unique opportunity to witness the best of the PSAL against the best of the CHSAA.

"You're going to have on display exactly what New York City basketball players have to offer: competitiveness and determination," says Christ the King coach Joe Arbitello. With early-season bragging rights on the line, expect all four teams to play passionate, hard-nosed basketball.

In addition to celebrating the excellence of New York City basketball, the games will showcase some of the City's best high school players, including:

JayVaughn Pinkston, 2010: The 6'6" Senior forward from Bishop Loughlin High School is regarded as the best high school player in New York City and a top 50 player in the country. Pinkston will play for Villanova next year.

Ryan Rhoomes, 2011: A 6'8" Senior forward from Cardozo High School, Rhoomes is rapidly improving and is now being recruited by schools in the ACC and Big East.

Corey Edwards,, 2011: The son of NYC basketball legend Dave Edwards, Corey is a highly regarded 6'0" Junior point guard at Christ the King High School. Edwards is being recruited by numerous Big East schools.

Other notable players include Lincoln's Shaquille Stokes and Kimari Murphy; Branden Frazier from Loughlin; Reynaldo Walters, Dwayne Brunson and Chris Gayot from Cardozo; and Maurice Barrow, and sophomore sensation Omar Calhoun, from Christ the King.

Holiday Hoop Festival Tournament

Along with the local games, the Holiday Hoop Festival will include an eight-team tournament with some of the best boarding school teams in North America. Together, these squads have won dozens of league, state and regional championships during the last decade. The action gets underway Friday at 6:30 p.m. and continues through the championship game on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.

"The Holiday Hoop Festival provides an opportunity for our team to showcase and test ourselves against the best competition in North America," says Kelvin Jefferson, the coach of South Kent (Conn.) School.

Like the New York City showcase games, the eight-team tournament will feature many talented players, including:

Nate Lubick, 2010: A 6'9" power forward at the St. Marks School in Massachusetts, Lubick will join Georgetown University's basketball team next fall. ESPN.com has ranked him as the 45th best player in the Class of 2010.

Amile Jefferson, 2012: A 6'7" sophomore at the Friends Central School in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Jefferson boasts a 97 rating and #21 national ranking from ESPN.com and is attracting attention from some of the top college basketball programs in the country.

Russ Smith, 2010: A New York native and 5'10" point guard at the South Kent School in Conn., Smith will play for Louisville next year.

J.J. Moore, 2010: A 6'5" small forward at the South Kent School, Moore will play for the University of Pittsburgh next year. He is a top-100 player in the Class of 2010.

Hakeem Harris, 2010: A 6'1" point guard at Blair Academy in New Jersey, Harris is being recruited by Northwestern, Rice, Columbia and Brown. He carries a 4.0 GPA.

Jesse Pritchard, 2010: A 6'5" shooting guard at Blair Academy in New Jersey, Pritchard will play basketball at Yale next year.

These teams also boast talented players from far-flung locales like Senegal, Thailand, England and Norway.

The Holiday Hoops Festival will take place on Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 at Fordham University. For more information, contact Nick Blatchford at (212) 426-4667.




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