Connecticut basketball teams to play in HoopHall Classic.

Jason Shea recalls Notre Dame-West Haven’s first trip to play in the Spalding HoopHall Classic.

It was January 2017. Tremont Waters had transferred to the Green Knights program from South Kent for his senior year. Notre Dame made the trip to Springfield, Massachusetts, to play Archbishop Molloy, a historic show from Queens in New York.

That team included Cole Anthony, who later played at the University of North Carolina and is now with the Orlando Magic, and Moses Brown, who later played for UCLA and various NBA franchises.

Notre Dame won the game 74-66. Shea understands the importance of receiving an invite to play again at the HoopHall Classic.

“Not just playing there, which is great, but you also know what the event has meant to high school basketball. The (big) players can all come to one place,” Shea said. “For Notre Dame to be in a position to not only play but also be competitive in that kind of environment is really great for the program.”

Notre Dame returns to the HoopHall Classic on Friday night when the Green Knights take on Gulliver Prep (Fla.), led by NBA Hall of Famer and former UConn All-American Ray Allen, at Blake Arena. from Springfield College. Tip time is 7:30 pm

There are 32 men’s and women’s basketball teams from 19 different states competing over a five-day period that began Thursday. It also features several teams hailing from Connecticut, including the top four teams in GameTimeCT’s current Top 10 poll.

East Catholic, the top ranked, plays Saturday against St. Augustine (California). No. 2 Northwest Catholic and No. 3 Windsor played Thursday against Massachusetts teams Newton North and Springfield Central, respectively.

See also  MotoGP: What I learned in the Valencia Test

Notre Dame-West Haven is currently ranked fourth. Also, Suffield Academy faced Wilbraham and Monson (Massachusetts) in a NEPSAC game on Thursday.

On the girls’ side, Hamden’s Sacred Heart Academy, the No. 5 team in GameTimeCT’s top 10 poll, opens the game Friday at 3 pm against Springfield Central.

“We try to play the best teams we can so we can continue to make progress toward achieving our ultimate goals in the postseason,” Sacred Heart Academy coach Jason Kirck said.

Newington is the other women’s team representing Connecticut, taking on St. John Vianney (NJ) High School at 9 am Monday.

Shea said he contacted Greg Procino, the Basketball Hall of Fame’s vice president of events and operations, to let him know about the school’s interest in playing in the HoopHall Classic again.

“I sent Greg a note that we had a lot of players coming back from a very good team (a CIAC Division I state finalist), high level guys. He was kind enough to extend an invitation to us,” Shea said.

Allen, 47, played 18 seasons in the NBA, winning championships with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and the Miami Heat in 2013. He is second on the NBA’s all-time list in 3-point shooting and was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Allen took over as director of Gulliver Prep’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, in addition to being the men’s basketball coach, in August 2021. His son, Ray Jr., is a 6-foot-2 senior guard on the Pinecrest team. , florida

See also  Gabriel Jesus has a healthy reaction after being called up by Brazil for the 2022 World Cup ▷

Hamden Hall Country Day played in the Gulliver Prep Holiday Shootout in December. Gulliver Prep defeated Hamden Hall 76-61 in the semifinals.
Shea said she flew to Miami in November to scout out a couple of Gulliver Prep games.

“They have A-plus team speed, the ability to shoot multiplayer threes and can score in groups,” Shea said. “Playing against a team led by Ray Allen makes the game more fun and expected. From my team’s perspective, any game we play in a loaded environment will be beneficial to us come tournament time.”

Sacred Heart Academy, Notre Dame’s sister school, is coming off a win Wednesday over No. 2 Hand in Madison.

Kirck said the team will spend Friday night and take a tour of the Hall of Fame Saturday morning, one of the perks of playing in the HoopHall Classic. The Sharks will basically be playing a road game against the Springfield Central.

“There was mutual interest last year, but it didn’t work out because (the HoopHall) was full. This year it worked schedule-wise,” Kirck said. “It’s a special event for both of our schools (and Notre Dame) to be there on the same night playing against top-level competition.”

[email protected]; @nhrJoeMorelli

Leave a Comment