Posted On: 11/18/18 8:00 AM
Atlanta, Georgia – Thanksgiving week begins today and Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas are the top two hot spots that will be filled with top showcases and events for the entire week. Atlanta has always been one of the main spots for boys high school basketball during feast week and it certainly gets better this year. Top showcases in the metro Atlanta area this week include the famous and 5th Annual Holiday Hoopsgiving, The Skills Factory Holiday Invitational, Jared Cook Classic, and the Under Armour Hard in the Paint Classic. Below you can find out what players and programs are expected at each event this year.
Jared Cook Classic (at North Gwinnett High School) Nov. 17, 19-20th
The 2018 Jared Cook Classic will once again be played at North Gwinnett High School, which is about 30 miles north of Atlanta. This year’s field includes programs like Lanier, Dacula, Mount Bethel, Greater Atlanta Christian, Peachtree Ridge, Grayson, Meadowcreek, Shiloh, Lambert, Milton, Lithonia, and more. The event actually has already began, this past Friday November 17th. The Jared Cook Classic is always a good event filled with some of the most underrated prospects we have in the state of Georgia. Players like Brenden Tucker (Dacula/College of Charleston), Devion Smith (Grayson), Jordan Meka (Mount Bethel), Damian Dunn (Meadowcreek/Temple), Jalen Benjamin (Meadowcreek/UAB), Eric Gaines (Lithonia), Hunter McIntosh (GAC), Toneari Lane (Shiloh), and more expected to participate. I have this seasons event ranked number 13 in our “Top 20 Must See Matchups in the Metro Atlanta Area” rankings for the 2018-2019 season.
The Skills Factory Holiday Invitational (at Norcross High School) Nov. 23-24th
The 1st Annual Holiday Invitational hosted by The Skills Factory will be played at powerhouse Norcross High School in the two days after Thanksgiving. This event should be an interesting showcase and should fill up the house of blue. Programs like The Skills Factory, Spire Academy (OH), DME Academy (FL), Sunrise Christian (KS), Athens Prep (TN), Tennessee Prep (TN), and more are expected to compete in this event. 2019 point guard LaMelo Ball has recently enrolled into Spire Academy (OH) and that adds to an already loaded event. Other players expected to participate in this event will be Rocket Watts Jr. (Spire Academy/Michigan State), Isaiah Jackson (Spire Academy), Malik Hall (Sunrise Christian/Michigan State), Damion Baugh (Tennessee Prep), Tony Johnson (The Skills Factory), and plenty more.
Under Armour Hard in the Paint Classic (at Benjamin E. Mays High School) Nov. 23-24th
Another Atlanta event during the busy Thanksgiving week will be Under Armour’s Hard in the Paint Classic hosted by UAA’s Atlanta Xpress. This event will features some of the nations most talented prospects and also some of Georgia’s own. Programs in the field include McEachern, Wheeler, The Heritage School, Woodward Academy, Carver (AL), Westlake, Dutchtown, Lithonia, Tri-Cities, Douglas County, and more. Also some interesting matchups that should bring a lot of attention are the McEachern-Carver (AL), Holy Spirit-Wheeler, Westlake-Holy Spirit, and The Heritage School-Woodward Academy matchups. Players included in this event are Anthony Edwards (Holy Spirit), Lance Terry (The Heritage School/Gardner-Webb), Chase Hunter (Westlake/Clemson), Sharife Cooper (McEachern), Charles Smith IV (Wheeler/Cal), Ebenzer Dowuona (The Heritage School), Isaac Okoro (McEachern/Auburn), Walker Kessler (Woodward Academy), and more. The Hard in the Paint Classic is not ranked in my “Top 20 Must See Matchups” list for the 2018-2019 season but it definitely should be.
5th Annual Holiday Hoopsgiving Showcase (at Holy Innocents Prep) – Nov. 23-24th
Of course we are saving the best for last. The 5th Annual Holiday Hoopsgiving hosted by Chris Williams will be the best event during Atlanta’s busy Thanksgiving week hands down. Year after year the showcase has improved on the talent and top programs it brings in. This seasons programs include teams like Norcross, Huntington Prep (WV), DME Academy (FL), Bishop Snyder (FL), Legacy Charter (SC), Southwest Dekalb, Carmel Christian (NC), Wheeler, Pebblebrook, Pace Academy, Wasatch Academy (UT), Lincoln Academy, Meadowcreek, South Shore (NY), and many more. There will be a plethora of intriguing matchups for the two days straight, including matchups like Norcross-Southwest Dekalb, South Shore (NY)-Meadowcreek, Huntington Prep (WV)-Lincoln Academy, Greater Atlanta Christian-Wheeler, and more. Talk about the talent that will be on display? There will be tons. Brandon Boston Jr. (Norcross), Corey Walker Jr. (Bishop Snyder, FL), KD Johnson (Southwest Dekalb), Jaemyn Brakefield (Huntington Prep, WV), Tyrese Samuel (Wasatch, UT) Mady Sissoko (Wasatch, UT), Elias King (Lincoln Academy/Mississippi State), Naseem Khalid (Legacy Charter, SC), and plenty more expected to compete at this seasons event.