First-Round Pairings Set for T-Mobile Invitational National High School Basketball Tournament
Indianapolis, Ind. — Dec. 8, 2008
The first-round pairings of boys and girls teams for the 2008 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 will be broadcast live by CBS College Sports Network and will be played Dec. 29-30 at Worthen Arena on the campus of Ball State University. Play-by-play announcer Jason Knapp teams with analyst Steve Wolf to call the boys games and analyst Tammy Blackburn to call the girls games. In addition, CBS Sports will air a one-hour “T-Mobile Invitational 2008 Tournament Highlight Show” on Jan. 18, 2009 (1p.m. EST).
MaxPreps.com, the official online partner of the T-Mobile Invitational, will offer replays of the full broadcast of all tournament games, available on demand 48 hours after the conclusion of each contest. Maxpreps.com will also provide video features on all the competing teams, as well as comprehensive highlight packages following each game.
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. The NFHS’ 51 member associations oversee and administer athletic and fine arts activities within those states. Only high schools that are members of those state associations are allowed to compete for their respective state titles.
Leading off the Dec. 29 first-round girls games is a matchup between Gentry High School (Indianola, Miss.) and Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.). Gentry has won back-to-back Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 4A state titles, while Bob Jones High School claimed the 2008 Alabama Class 6A title with no seniors in its starting line-up. The second girls game pits two-time defending New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 1 champion University High School (Newark, N.J.) against Washington High School (South Bend, Ind.), which has earned an Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A state title and two runner-up finishes the past three years
The first boys game features Duncanville (Duncanville, Texas) High School, which began the season ranked No. 1 in multiple national preseason rankings, against South Atlanta High School (Atlanta). The second boys game features Garfield High School (Seattle) against Lawrence North High School (Indianapolis).
The winning teams will advance to the girls and boys championships on Dec. 30, with the consolation games to be played earlier that day.
The boys field features some of the top individual players in the country. South Atlanta’s Derrick Favors is the top-ranked big man in the country, according to nearly every expert’s list. The 6-foot-9 power forward averaged 23.7 points, 17.1 rebounds and 9.1 blocks as a junior. This year’s tourney also features the top-rated sophomore in the nation in Garfield’s 6-5 point guard Tony Wroten Jr. In addition to these two standouts, the 2008 T-Mobile Invitational field features at least eight other players who have committed to attend Division I universities including Louisville, Texas, Oklahoma State and Purdue.
The girls bracket also features some of the top players in the country. Leading the way is Washington High School’s Skylar Diggins, the top-rated point guard in the nation and a 2007–08 Parade Magazine first-team All-American performer. University High School’s Laurin Mincy brings equally impressive credentials to this year’s event. She was the first girl in New Jersey history to earn first-team all-state honors as a freshman and was named New Jersey Player of the Year as a sophomore.
“Once again, we have an outstanding field for the T-Mobile Invitational,” 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.”
“It just seems to get better every year,” said Mike Belcher, vice president of brand communications,T-Mobile USA. “We’re excited about the quality of the teams, the quality of the individuals involved and being able to showcase it all for the fans watching in person in Muncie and those watching live around the country on CBS College Sports Network.”
In addition to the two days of games, all coaches and players of the participating schools will join together for a T-Mobile Huddle Up SM community service project on Dec. 28 designed to improve various elements of the Boys & Girls Club of Muncie (located at 1710 S. Madison St. in Muncie). 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 Eastern Standard Time:
Monday, Dec. 29