Pacific Shores Tourney Hits Big Milestone

It was a year when a gallon of gas was just 20 cents, when a 20-year-old outfielder named Willie Mays broke in the Major Leagues with the New York Giants, J.D. Salinger debuted his famous novel Catcher in the Rye and the first Jack-in-the-Box restaurant opened in San Diego. The Cold War was still looming large in the minds of Americans, but in 1951 the first Pacific Shores Basketball Tournament was staged, featuring some of the top basketball programs in Southern California.

Fifty years later that tradition continues as the 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Shores Basketball Tournament kicks off today (Mon., Nov. 26) and runs through Dec. 1

The field of play includes three defending CIF Champions in Redondo Union, Crossroads and Bishop Montgomery High School.

Bishop Montgomery lost by two to Westchester, this year's preseason No. 1 team in the state, in last year's championship.

The 16-team tournament is being played at Redondo Union High School. Also featured in the tournament are city powerhouses Fairfax and Palisades High, as well as such recent up-and-coming programs as St. Monica and San Diego Horizon Christian.

The prestigious tournament will also be highlighted by the play of pre-season All-Americans Adam Zahn and Wendell White of Redondo High and Fairfax High's Evan Burns - regarded by many as the top recruit in the nation, and a recent verbal commitment to UCLA.

Zahn's brother, Andrew, was the Most Valuable Player in the tournament two years ago and today is a center/forward for an Arizona team that recently upset then No. 2 Maryland.

Other top college basketball recruits to be featured this week include Fred Washington and Gavin Lee of Bishop Montgomery; Paul Meynen and Keith Ellison of Redondo; Fernando Sampson , Alex Bausley and Kevin Bell of Fairfax; Derrick Clark , Leuzinger; and Hampton Nunley of St. Monica.

"Recognizing the incredible history and tradition of the tournament, I know a lot of players are especially eager to make their mark during its 50th Anniversary," said Tournament Director Don Turner.

"I mean we're talking about a basketball contest that got its start about the same time that Elvis did.

There are countless numbers of past players that have advanced to the collegiate and professional level, and its longevity speaks volumes on the quality of the tournament itself and the athletes that are consistently featured in it."

Pacific Shores Tournament game times Monday through Friday are 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The semi-finals are on Friday, November 30th at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Games on Saturday, December 1st start at 10:30 a.m. and run through the day with the consolation finals at 4:30 p.m., the third place game is at 6 p.m., and the championship game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

"I would recommend that parents and fans arrive at least 45 minutes early to the games, especially the semi-finals and championship game, because the tournament has traditionally proved to be a strong draw.

But when you're talking about the finals of the 50th Anniversary game, in a tournament that has so much rich history already, we believe it's probably going to be a standing-room only type of situation," added Tournament Director Don Turner.

The tournament features dual opening nights with host Redondo Union playing it's first round game on Monday, November 26, at 7:30 p.m. and top seeded Fairfax on Tuesday, November 27, also at 7:30 p.m.

Some of the notable alums who've played in the Pacific Shores games include: Tony Gwynn, Paul Westphal, Byron Scott, Elden Campbell, Paul Pierce, Harold Minor, and, more recently, Eric & Derrick Craven, Dijon Thompson and Joe Ship.

The following teams round out the high schools competing this year:

* Redondo Union HS, Redondo Beach CA
* Crossroads HS, Santa Monica CA
* Bishop Montgomery HS, Torrance CA
* Fairfax HS, Los Angeles CA
* Valencia HS, Valencia CA
* Narbonne HS, Harbor City CA
* Horizon Christian HS, San Diego CA
* Morningside HS, Inglewood CA
* Locke HS, Los Angeles CA
* LB Jordan HS, Long Beach CA
* Leuzinger HS, Lawndale CA
* Hawthorne HS, Hawthorne CA
* St. Monica HS, Santa Monica CA
* Jefferson HS, Los Angeles CA
* Palisades HS, Pacific Palisades CA
* Gardena HS, Gardena CA

Golden State Preps Top Stories