Golden Holt is at it again.
Now in its third year of existence, the annual Great Western Shootout high school basketball tournament has once again lured some of the top prep basketball teams in the country to Utah County. The tournament, slated for Dec. 5-7 at Orem High School, will feature five-star forward De’Ron Davis out of Overland High School in Aurora, Colo., as well as last year’s MaxPreps national champion Lone Peak Knights.
"This is going to be one of the top basketball tournaments in the entire country," said Orem coach Golden Holt in a release. "These are the college and NBA stars of tomorrow and they will be here in Orem for three days. This is a rare opportunity to see the best individual talent and nationally ranked teams all competing against each other in the same tournament."
The Knights will highlight this year’s field that is a collection of high school teams from in Utah and around the country. Class 4A Orem, Class 5A American Fork and Class 5A Bingham will represent Utah along with 5A Lone Peak.
The out-of-state programs scheduled to be at the Great Western Shootout include: Bishop O’Connell (Virginia) and Denver East (Colorado), Overland (Colorado) and Foothill High School (Nevada).
"This is the best field that tournament has ever had," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis. "It’s very exciting to be part of it."
The tournament format will include in-state versus out-of-state pairings on Thursday and Friday, according to the release. Following Friday night’s action, the schedule for Saturday will be announced.
Last year’s showcase game featured Orem versus Lone Peak, a matchup that produced a sellout within a matter of minutes.
At least a dozen prospective Division-I players are on this year’s teams. TJ Haws (Lone Peak), Dalton Nixon (Orem) and American Fork’s Ryan Andrus have all committed to BYU.
In addition to the tournament action, there will be a slam dunk and 3-point shooting contest on Friday night.
As the release states, The Great Western Shootout is the brainchild of Holt. He’s coached in the AAU ranks and against some of the top talent in the country in his coaching career.
"I have known for years how good the talent is in Utah," Holt said. "When I got the job at Orem High, I convinced my administration to showcase that talent with an annual high school event. The first phone call I made was to Lone Peak. With Lone Peak in, others have quickly followed. The format is simple. We pit four of the best Utah teams against national powers from out of state. The combination is going to make for some of the greatest basketball that will be played all year any where in the country."
Due to demand from last year’s tournament, fans will be able to purchase reserved seating online before the big event.
This year with the help of corporate sponsors, the tournament will be awarding $10,000 in scholarships to participating schools.
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