November 21, 2016
NEW TEAMS AND PLENTY OF SKILL COMING TO 2017 CLASSIC
The 34th version of this tournament, the Burger King Basketball Classic will tip off in Erie on Friday, January 13th and Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at the Joann Mullen Gymnasium at the Prep and Villa Events Center. This year’s tournament features two schools making their first trip to town and another from down the road that is trying to win another championship. The event continues to garner the attention of the top high school websites in the country, as MaxPreps and Hoops USA called the Burger King Classic the number one four-team tournament in the nation.
The field for the 2017 Classic is complete with programs that have had great success at the state and national level and features a slew of players that are attracting the attention of college coaches nationally. On the first night on Friday, January 13th at 6pm, Villa Angela-St. Joe’s will be making their fifth trip to the Classic and they are searching for their second tourney title. A state runner-up in Ohio a season ago, the Vikings feature 6’7 sophomore and national recruit Alonzo Gaffney. As a freshman he helped guide VASJ within one win of another state title and with early interest from Kansas, Ohio State and Penn State, much will be expected from him this season. He teams with junior point guard Gene Higgins who has looks from Colgate, Oral Roberts and West Point.
Villa Angela-St. Joe’s will match up with a strong national power on night one. Paul VI has won three state championships in Virginia since 2009 and is coming off a 20-win season. Senior guard 6’3 Aaron Thompson has already committed to play at Pitt. His backcourt mate is just a junior and has a ton of offers. 6’7 junior Brandon Slater has offers from the likes of Villanova, Louisville, Maryland and USC. A third guard, 6’2 sophomore Anthony Harris already has received looks from George Mason, Virginia Tech and UCF. With 65 players having gone through this program earning a college basketball scholarship and 13 grads that have played professionally, Paul VI is always one of the top programs in the land.
The 7:30pm nightcap will have Westerville South from Ohio against the host school Cathedral Prep. Westerville South went 26-4 a year ago, winning their first state title in school history along the way. They are also led by one of the top recruits in the land. 6’9 senior Kaleb Wesson is one of the top players in the nation and the number one center in the state of Ohio. Wesson had offers from Xavier, Iowa and Purdue before committing to Ohio State. 6’1 point guard Anthony Mills has several Division II offers, as does 6’6 senior forward Antoine Smith.
Making a return to the Classic for the 34th straight year will be the host Cathedral Prep Ramblers, a three-time winner of this event. Prep grad and head coach Mark Majewski is in his ninth season and is hoping to have the Ramblers geared up to capture another District 10
Championship. Senior point guard Jaryn Simpson was the team’s second leading scorer a year ago and their top assist man. He returns along with senior guards Franco Agnello and Mark Majewski, junior swingmen Tommy Russo and Adam Upperman and senior center Bruce Fagan.
Friday & Saturday, January 13th and 14th,
6:00pm & 7:30pm @ Joann Mullen Gymnasium
Friday 6:00pm: Paul VI vs. Villa Angela-St. Joseph’s
7:30pm: Westerville South vs. Cathedral Prep
Saturday 6:00pm: Consolation Game
7:30pm: Championship Game
General admission tickets cost $7.00 per night in advance for adults and $5.00 in advance for students, and are on sale to the general public starting on Tuesday. Any remaining reserved tickets will go on sale beginning on Wednesday, November 30th at the Cathedral Prep Athletic Office. General Admission tickets will be available on that same date at seven local Burger King Restaurants (all in Erie, North East and Fairview), at Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria High Schools as well as Dee’s News while supplies last.
No phone orders will be accepted, and no tickets can be held. Great crowds are expected, so fans are encouraged to buy their tickets early.
November 21, 2016