By Gary Lloyd
BIRMINGHAM — The field is set for the second annual Steel City Invitational, a regular season high school basketball tournament hosted by the Birmingham Tip Off Club from Dec. 19-22 at Samford University.
The field features four of last year’s six state champions and eight Final 48 participants.
“The Birmingham Tip Off Club is proud to host what is quickly becoming the premier high school basketball event in the state and one of the top tournaments in the Southeast,” said Hunter Strickler, president of the Birmingham Tip Off Club. “The feedback we received last year from players, fans and coaches was overwhelmingly positive, and we’re looking forward to an even stronger and more exciting field this year.”
The slate of 16 teams is anchored by Parker High School, which captured the 2014 Class 5A state championship as well as the 2013 Steel City Invitational championship. Other state champions from 2014 participating in this year’s tournament are Mountain Brook (Class 6A), Midfield (Class 3A) and St. Jude (Class 1A). The field also includes Clay-Chalkville, Hoover, Theodore, Grissom, Tuscaloosa County, Bessemer City, Ramsay, Faith Academy, Fairfield, Wenonah, J.O. Johnson and Bibb County.
“We are thrilled to participate again this year in the Steel City Invitational,” Parker High School head coach Reginald McGary said. “Our kids played exceptionally well in last year’s tournament, and I fully expect an even higher level of competition this December.”
Some of the tournament’s featured players are Clay-Chalkville rising senior point guard Hasan Abdullah, Bibb County’s Danjel Purifoy, Theodore’s Dazon Ingram, St. Jude’s Tommy Burton and Mountain Brook’s TaWarren Grant. More information will be released on the individual players as the tournament approaches.
The Steel City Invitational is a three-day, four-round bracket-style tournament with a winners and losers bracket. All teams are guaranteed of playing at least one game each of the three days. The teams playing in the semifinals on Saturday will play a total of four games.
Matchups and game times will be posted at www.SteelCityHoops.com and communicated through social media in the fall.
Clay-Chalkville is in the process of finding a new head coach. Daniel Foy resigned from the position last month after leading the Cougars to a 66-27 record over the past three seasons.
Hewitt-Trussville played in the inaugural Steel City Invitational last year.
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