By Gary Lloyd
Mountain Brook High School is the host team for the inaugural Birmingham Tip Off Club’s Steel City Invitational, scheduled for Dec. 19-21 at Samford University’s Pete Hanna Center.
Being billed as the state’s premier high school basketball tournament, Hewitt-Trussville is one of the 16 teams that will be showcased. The schools included in the tournament have won eight state championships in the past four years. An estimated 20 future Division I student-athletes will participate.
Besides Hewitt-Trussville, participating teams include Mountain Brook, Wenonah, Gadsden City, Bob Jones, Hazel Green, Carver-Birmingham, St. Jude, Woodlawn, Madison Academy, Hueytown, Homewood, Ramsay, Sparkman, Leeds and Hoover.
Mountain Brook is the defending Class 6A champion. Wenonah has won three straight Class 5A state championships.
Birmingham Tip Off Club’s Chris Nix and Mountain Brook assistant coach Christian Schweers organized the event.
“With the most recent success of several Birmingham area schools, we saw a need for a premier basketball tournament to be hosted in our city,” Nix said. “I’m convinced this tournament will help grow the sport of basketball in Alabama and promote the basketball talent our state has to offer. We are very excited about the future of this tournament and the future of basketball in the state of Alabama.”
The Birmingham Tip Off Club has hired a professional sports management company, Knight Eady Sports Group, to coordinate the logistics involved in making the event a success.
“Having a professional sports management company involved will help us legitimize this event and separate ourselves from other high school basketball tournaments in the state,” Nix said.
Participating teams will play a minimum of three games and as many as four games in three days.
“A big part of the mission of the Birmingham Tip Off Club is to promote high school basketball in Alabama,” Nix said. “The Steel City Invitational will give us a unique opportunity to showcase the incredible basketball talent our state has to offer.”
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