Beach Ball Classic tips off with national rankings

The 37th annual Beach Ball Classic kicks off today inside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.  The 16 team field features some of the best high school teams and players in the country.

This year’s field is a list of teams that are familiar to regular attendees. Nine of the 16 teams have made previous appearances, with reigning champion Imhotep returning to face a group that includes the No.1 ranked team in the country, Montverde, who won this event two years ago.

Dematha Catholic returns with a No. 16 ranking nationally, as does Imhotep at No. 17. Long Island Lutheran sits at No. 42.

Montverde Academy returns a stacked lineup and the No. 1 ranked player in the country in Duke signee, RJ Barrett. Montverde’s Andrew Nembhard is a Florida signee and Michael Devoe will be heading to Georgia Tech.

Cox Mill, from Concord, NC brings in UNC signee Rechon “Leaky” Black, and Wendell Moore, Jr., who has offers from UNC, Duke, and Kansas. They’ll open the tournament at 3:30pm against Fairland, OH. Maxpreps has Cox Mill ranked as the No. 11 ranked team in the country.

The Clark Chargers feature a team full of talented athletes, coming off a Nevada state championship appearance; they were ranked No. 1 in Nevada until losing to Bishop Gorman last week. Bishop Gorman also defeated them in that state championship appearance.

Imhotep Charter, out of Pennsylvania features Dahmir Bishop, and Donta Scott. Bishop has offers from VCU, Penn State and Seton Hall. Scott is choosing between St Joe’s, Penn State, Temple, and VCU.

“The quality of teams is the best we’ve had since we moved to the convention center,” Beach Ball Classic committee member Allen Smothers said. “I’m looking forward to seeing Montverde, because they are used to playing in events of this magnitude and Cox Mill has two of the most heralded players, senior and junior. The Bishop Gorman, Imhotep game in the first round might be a championship game in any other year.”

The Beach Ball Classic continues daily, with championship game scheduled for 7:15pm on Saturday, December 30th. Tickets are $15 daily or $75 for the tournament and available at the door of the convention center.

Photo Credit: Michael Graves, Digital Magic Photo

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