The 2012 Les Schwab Invitational is running this week at Liberty High School in Hillsboro. The annual holiday high school tournament includes a bunch of local teams and two teams ranked in the top-20 nationally.
Here's some quick-hitting information.
This year the LSI features 2 teams ranked in the top 20 of ESPN's Pre-Season Rankings - #12 Archbishop Mitty from San Jose, CA and #19 Neumann-Goretti out of Philadelphia, PA along with 12 of the top basketball teams in the state of Oregon. The opening round match-ups are listed here:
Session #1 - Wednesday, December 26th:
Game 1 - 9:00am: Central Catholic vs. Jefferson
Game 2 - 10:30am: Sprague vs. West Linn
Game 3 - 12:00pm: Jesuit vs. Sheldon
Game 4 - 1:30pm: Gonzaga Prep vs. Clackamas
Session #2 - Wednesday, December 26th:
Game 5 - 4:00pm: Columbia River vs. Century
Game 6 - 5:30pm: Tigard vs. Neumann Goretti
Game 7 - 7:00pm: Southridge vs. Archbishop Mitty
Game 8 - 8:30pm: Lake Oswego vs. Sunset
The remaining three days will be divided into two, four-game sessions with a one-hour break between each session. The morning session begins at 9:00am with games running every hour and a half except Friday's morning session will begin at 8:30am. The evening session begins at 4:00pm with games running every hour and a half except Friday's evening session will begin at 4:30pm to accommodate the Express Employment Professionals Slam Dunk Contest. The Slam Dunk Contest precedes Semi-Final action on Friday the 28th at 3pm. Admission to the Dunk Contest is free with a Tournament Pass or Session 6 Ticket.
I'll be out there Thursday.
Here are a few of the players featured in this year's tournament via the tournament organizers, who also noted that Portland Trail Blazers forward J.J. Hickson and guard Nolan Smith are both LSI alumni.
Aaron Gordon (PF, 6-8 Archbishop Mitty - Arizona, Kentucky, Washington): By all accounts, Gordon should put on a show at the tournament this year with his high flying arsenal of dunks, vicious blocks at the rim, offensive and defensive rebounding and even handling the ball and passing off to open teammates. LSI fans might remember the MVP performance of Aaron's older brother Drew who led Archbishop Mitty to the 2007 LSI Championship. Although Gordon enters the LSI with a similar game as his brother, he is ranked higher by the scouting services and is putting the finishing touches on one of the best high school basketball careers in California state history. Aaron recently narrowed his list of college choices to three schools: Arizona, Kentucky and Washington and is one of the top unsigned players in the class of 2013. He has already been compared to Blake Griffin for his style of play and effort on the court and should be the next in a long line of NBA Players who played in the LSI.
Kris Jenkins (F, 6-6 Gonzaga College H.S. - Villanova): Even though he is listed as 6-6 and 250 pounds, Jenkins is considered undersized at the power forward position but has the potential to turn into a Charles Barkley type player. He has committed to play at Villanova next season and likes to do the dirty work in the paint where he doesn't shy away from contact. Last year as a junior, Jenkins averaged almost 20 points and 18 rebounds a game at Gonzaga College H.S. in the nation's capital. He was named the 2011-12 Gatorade District of Columbia Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Calvin Hermanson (SF, 6-6 Lake Oswego - St. Mary's): Hermanson is probably the best player in the state this year on what could be the best team in the State this year. He recently scored 52 points in a seemingly effortless fashion in a game against Mark Morris high school. The 52-point performance topped current Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star, Kevin Love's school record of 50 points. Hermanson is a well-rounded and fundamentally sound player. The lengthy lefty can knock in shots, is a gifted passer, and can also elevate and throw down an explosive dunk at times. He plays with great pace and rarely forces the issue on the offensive end and will be playing at St. Mary's College next season.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter