First-Round Pairings Set for T-Mobile Invitational National High School Basketball Tournament

Games to Be Nationally Televised Live on VERSUS Cable Network

The first-round pairings of boys and girls teams for the second annual T-Mobile Invitational national high school basketball tournament have been announced by T-Mobile USA, Inc., and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).


The tournament, which will be televised live on the VERSUS cable television network, will be played December 28-29 in “The Pit” on the campus of the University of New Mexico. The T-Mobile Invitational is the only basketball tournament sponsored by the NFHS, and the field is composed only of schools from NFHS-member associations.

Leading off the December 28 first-round girls games is a matchup between the USA Today “Super 25” team Long Beach (California) Poly High School and Dayton (Ohio) Chaminade-Julienne High School. The second girls game pits defending Virginia High School League Class AAA state champion Hampton High School, against the Bengals of Gallup (New Mexico) High School.

The first boys game features defending Utah High School Activities Association Class 5A state champion Highland Lone Peak High School against Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA runner-up Roswell Centennial High School. In the second game, Jersey City (New Jersey) St. Anthony, one of the nation’s most storied basketball programs, meets Albuquerque (New Mexico) La Cueva High School.

On December 29, the first-round losers will square off in morning and early afternoon games, with the girls and boys championships to be decided later that day.

St. Anthony has won a nation-leading 24 state titles (New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association), including a national-record nine consecutive from 1983 to 1991. Coach Bob Hurley has won 901 career games, which ranks him fourth in the nation among active boys basketball coaches, and has won an amazing 91 percent of his games. Rutgers signee 6-foot-1 senior guard Mike Rosario is expected to lead the talent-laden Friars in 2007-08.

For the second year in a row, one of the top-ranked girls team in USA Today’s “Super 25” is participating in the T-Mobile Invitational. Last year, Suwanee (Georgia) Collins Hill High School parlayed its T-Mobile Invitational title into an undefeated season and a mythical national championship.

Long Beach Poly is hoping to follow that same path this year. Led by California Division 1 Player of the Year Jasmine Dixon and the addition of highly touted junior Monique Oliver, the Jackrabbits are expected to vie for a California Interscholastic Federation state title and for lofty national rankings.

“This year’s field is outstanding,” said Robert F. Kanaby, NFHS executive director. “We’re very pleased that the country will be able to see not only some of the nation’s best basketball players, but some of the top all-around student-athletes as well.”

“We can’t wait for this year’s tournament,” said Mike Belcher, director of Sponsorships and Entertainment Marketing, T-Mobile USA. “We’re excited about the quality of the teams, the quality of the individuals involved and the overall support we’ve already seen in the greater Albuquerque area.”

In addition to the two days of games, all coaches and players of the participating schools will join local T-Mobile employees for a T-Mobile Huddle Up community service project on December 27 designed to improve the after-school facilities at McKinley Middle School (located at 4500 Comanche NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico). T-Mobile Huddle Up is T-Mobile USA’s community outreach program connecting kids, primarily from single-parent families, in high-need urban communities to positive people, places and programs. T-Mobile Huddle Up focuses on addressing the critical need for safe, high-quality after-school programs for kids nationwide.

Here is the complete schedule of games (game times are approximate and subject to change). Game times are Mountain Standard Time:

Friday, December 28

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