Academy National Invitational on Tap

There are plenty of tournaments across the country that will get going right after Christmas, but few - if any - have the amount of talent that the Academy National Invitational has put out over the past four years.

Texas has become a hotbed recently for basketball talent, so once again Hal Pastner's Academy National Invitational will feature plenty of top local players – as well as eight of the elite teams from the rest of the country.

The 4th Annual will feature Uconn-bound senior swingman Marcus Johnson of nationally ranked Westchester High (Calif.), perennial contender DeMatha (Md.) and local powerhouses Westbury Christian and Kingwood.

The event will once again be held at the 4,700-seat Aldine Campbell Center in Houston, Texas, and will run from Dec. 28-30.

There will be two divisions, a National High School Division and a Texas High School Division.

It will begin Tuesday with Ft. Bend Marshall and its standout junior big man, Darris Santee, going up against Oklahoma State-bound senior Terrel Harris and South Garland at 9:30 a.m. Arlington Country Day (Fla.), No. 4 in the most recent USA Today poll, will face Christ the King (N.Y.), at 11 a.m.

The championship game of the national bracket will be held on Thursday at 8 p.m., just after the title game of the Texas division concludes.

Take a look at all the participating teams and the top players:


Arlington Country Day (Fla.) – David Huertas (Florida), 6-4, WG, SR; Josue Soto, 5-11, PG, JR; Jason Bennett, 7-1, C, JR); A.J. Stewart, 6-7, F, SOPH

Christ the King (N.Y.) – Larry Davis, 6-3, WG, JR; Adam Walker, 6-8, BF/C, SR

Montverde Academy (Fla.) – Luc Richard Mbahamoute (UCLA), 6-7, WF, SR; L.D. Williams, 6-5, WG-WF, JR; Luis Colon, 6-10, BF, JR; Arminas Urbutis (Hofstra), 6-9, C, SR

DeMatha (Md.) – Mamadi Diane (Virginia), 6-4, WG, SR; Desmond Adedeji (Dayton), 6-9, C, SR; Jeff Allen, 6-7, BF, JR; Nigel Munson, 6-0, PG, JR; Austin Freeman, 6-3, WG, SOPH

Reserve Christian (La.) – Demond Carter (Baylor), 5-11, PG, JR; Kevin Branch, 6-4, WG, SOPH

Southern Lab (La.) – Deandre Brown, 6-3, WG, SR; Fred Savoie, 6-4, WF, SR

Westbury Christian (Texas) – Jeremy Barr, 6-9, BF, SR; Peter Stein, 6-9, BF, SR; Sean Coleman, 6-7, F, SR

Westchester (Calif.) – Amir Johnson (Louisville), 6-10, C, SR; Marcus Johnson (UConn), 6-5, WG, SR


Aldine – Gary Johnson, 6-8, BF, SOPH

Alief Taylor – Fendi Onobun (Arizona), 6-7, F, SR; Martellus Bennett, 6-7, F, SR Bellaire – Jai Lucas, 5-10, PG, SOPH; Dale Vanwright, 6-6, WF, JR; Isaiah Rusher, 6-9, C, SOPH

Cypress Ridge – Nick Chestnut, 6-1, WG, SR; Nick Smith, 6-1, WG, SR

Kingwood – Nic Wise (Arizona), 5-11, PG, JR; Mike Singletary, 6-5, WF, JR

Marshall – David Devezin (Texas A&M), 5-11, PG, SR; Darris Santee, 6-8, BF, JR

South Garland – Terrel Harris (Oklahoma State), 6-4, WG, SR; Trent Boone, 6-3, WG, JR

Westfield – Pierre Beasley, 6-3, WF, JR

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