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Chris Kamrani and Tom Wharton
Chris Kamrani and Tom Wharton write about all aspects of high school sports for the Tribune. Follow Chris Kamrani on Twitter at @chriskamrani.

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Great Western Shootout’s sponsorship deal provides scholarship money

The Great Western Shootout, a growing nationwide basketball tournament which takes place at Orem High School every December, has announced a title sponsor in FreeTaxUSA.com, a deal that will provide $10,000 worth of scholarship money to the four participating Utah high schools: Lone Peak, American Fork, Bingham and Orem.

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And those four Utah teams will get a shot to see how they fare against four talented teams from across the country. Bishop O’Connell (Virginia) finished No. 15 nationally a year ago. while Denver East (Colorado) and Overland (Colorado) figure to be two of the top teams in Colorado, and Foothill (Nevada) is a state title contender in Nevada.

The tournament features 12 players who have committed to play at Division I schools. Local stars TJ Haws (Lone Peak), Dalton Nixon (Orem) and Ryan Andrus (American Fork) have all committed to BYU, while Andrus’ teammate Tyler Rawson has committed to Southern Utah University.

Some of Utah’s top prep stars will have their hands full with the out-of-state talent coming into Utah County Dec. 5-7.

Bishop O’Connell’s Romelo Trimble, a guard committed to the University of Maryland, is ranked in the top 50 by Rivals.com. Dominque Collier, last year’s Colorado Player of the Year and De’Ron Williams, a sophomore, who is one of the hottest recruits in the country and has already received an offer from Indiana.

"The Great Western Shootout started out as a high school event but quickly turned into a community event and now in just our third year, a national event," said Golden Holt, Orem High coach and tournament founder in a release. "FreeTaxUSA.com is a national company who loves the idea of helping the community and being involved at the high school level. They wanted to partner up with us because they can see our commitment to grow the shootout to something very special."

The deal with FreeTaxUSA.com is significant because as part of the package the tournament will be televised on KMYU on both Friday and Saturday. All the games will also be streamed live. The Shootout has also landed a deal with 1280 The Zone, Vivint and Zion’s Bank.

"Our idea is to grow this event and make it bigger each year. I think we’ve done that with the addition of teams like Bishop O’Connell, who has a legendary program," Holt said. "This year’s event includes a slam dunk and three-point contest along with a fireworks show and a dance that will be hosted by U-92 radio station that is open to the community."

The tournament begins on Thursday, Dec. 5, with four games. Friday features Lone Peak vs. Bishop O’Connell, along with Orem vs. Denver East, American Fork vs. Overland and Bingham vs. Foothill. The schedule for Saturday will be determined on Friday.

Reserved seating tickets go on sale on Nov. 1. Fans can purchase reserved seating that will guarantee them premium seats for games that will likely sell out.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @CKTribune

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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