STrib: National prep basketball tournament off-limits for star-studded Minnesota teams

BleedGopher

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per STrib:

The Minnesota State High School League has rejected a request made on the behalf of two top Minnesota high school basketball teams to play in the Geico High School National Championships in April.

The Minnehaha Academy boys' team and the Hopkins girls' team were the subject of a request by Rashid Ghazi, a partner in Chicago-based Paragon Marketing Group, which administers the nationally televised tournament, asking that the teams be available to play.

Paragon made its request in a Jan. 30 e-mail to the league's executive director, Erich Martens, saying it "had interest from both'' teams seeking ''to participate in the postseason event if they qualify for selection," Ghazi's original e-mail said.

Minnehaha Academy is 17-2, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A in the state and No. 8 in the nation according to the MaxPreps.

The Redhawks, who defeated national power Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) in early January at a packed Target Center, have drawn national attention with two highly regarded recruits. Senior guard Jalen Suggs and 7-foot junior power forward Chet Holmgren head up a deep and talented roster that also includes potential Division I players in junior guard Hercy Miller and sophomore forward Prince Aligbe.

Defending Class 4A girls' champion Hopkins is led by UConn signee Paige Bueckers, the top-rated senior in the country. The Royals are 21-0 and on pace to finish their second consecutive season without a loss.

Both teams were being sought to play in the national tournament assuming they won their respective high school state championships.


Martens replied via e-mail that the tournament, which invites eight boys' and four girls' teams to New York to play for a national title, violates high school league bylaws, primarily its rule disallowing teams to play outside of the defined high school basketball season.

"Providing an extended season for select teams would provide an unfair advantage to any teams that would be allowed and would set a precedent that many other teams and other sports would likely request," Martens said in a reply e-mail on Feb. 6.

Martens said Friday that most state high school governing bodies do not allow for teams to participate in such competitions.

"Our bylaws say that these competitions must be sanctioned by our league or another NFHS [National Federation of High Schools] sanctioning league in another state and be hosted by a representative high school or college program, and this doesn't meet that," he said. "More than 40 other [high school] leagues feel the same way."

"This is a big deal," Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff said. "I've been coaching 35 years and never had an opportunity like this. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. … I don't understand why you wouldn't want to do everything you can to promote Minnesota basketball."

Rapper Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, is the father of Hercy Miller, in his first season with the Redhawks.

"This is just high school basketball," Master P was quoted as saying on the TMZ.com website. "These kids should have the opportunity to go to other states and play and compete."




Go Gophers!!
 

Piscator

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Huh - besides, should wait until after Tuesday's game. Also, all this does is give motivation to D1 recruits to go to one program; load the roster with D1 level players and likely get an invite to the national tourney. If Eden Prairie defeats Minnehaha Academy Tuesday, do they get the invite? If so, then I would be all for this; it is an opportunity to showcase Minnesota high school basketball. But, that is not what it is.
 

Holy Man

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At least the Minnesota High School league has some common sense.
If they want to play in national tournaments they can join an unaffiliated prep school association and not be eligible for state championships (ala Shattuck in hockey). They can showcase Minnesota basketball without violating rules that make sense for most schools.
 

alchemy2u

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This would give additional advantages in recruiting players to these high schools. The purpose of the high school league is to give fair treatment to all of the schools in the state, not to promote an “all star team”. It is the same reason that Shattuck-St. Mary's can’t play hockey against other Minnesota high schools.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Huh - besides, should wait until after Tuesday's game. Also, all this does is give motivation to D1 recruits to go to one program; load the roster with D1 level players and likely get an invite to the national tourney. If Eden Prairie defeats Minnehaha Academy Tuesday, do they get the invite? If so, then I would be all for this; it is an opportunity to showcase Minnesota high school basketball. But, that is not what it is.
Did you read the article? They have to win their state tournaments. Minnehaha can’t play Eden prairie in the state tournament. They play Tuesday, which is irrelevant to this. If you’re hosting a national tournament you want top level individuals in this. Minnehaha draws a crowd nationally.
 

UpAndUnder43

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This would give additional advantages in recruiting players to these high schools. The purpose of the high school league is to give fair treatment to all of the schools in the state, not to promote an “all star team”. It is the same reason that Shattuck-St. Mary's can’t play hockey against other Minnesota high schools.
Shattuck can’t play Minnesota high schools in official games because they aren’t part of the high school league. These teams are part of the high school league and haven’t violated any of their rules. A bunch of talented kids being at Minnehaha isn’t against the rules anymore than Edina girls tennis haven’t a loaded roster every year
 

Piscator

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Did you read the article? They have to win their state tournaments. Minnehaha can’t play Eden prairie in the state tournament. They play Tuesday, which is irrelevant to this. If you’re hosting a national tournament you want top level individuals in this. Minnehaha draws a crowd nationally.
Exactly my point! Thank you.
 

gopher7

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This would give additional advantages in recruiting players to these high schools. The purpose of the high school league is to give fair treatment to all of the schools in the state, not to promote an “all star team”. It is the same reason that Shattuck-St. Mary's can’t play hockey against other Minnesota high schools.
Exactly my thoughts. If the high school league is saying No to this because they don't want to promote the current practice of high school teams basically turning into AAU teams, then I'm all for their decision. Minnesota talent can be promoted in summer leagues.
 

MaxyJR1

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WCCO was live and did a story on them not being able to play in a national tournament. (They tried to twist it that both teams couldn't go) Another attempt to make the MSHSL look bad. Everyone should know that them being invited to a national tournament has nothing do do with the team and all to do with them having D1 talent. Their are at least 2-3 team better in MN.
 

Roland Brooks

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Yawn. Haha hype train 🚂 is sputtering. The traveling circus has come full circle. Like Chuck D. said in 1988. “Don’t believe the Hype!.
 

Some guy

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The MSHSL is dumb and out of touch.
There should be a way for Minnesota teams to play in national events in place. There is no way in place, MA shouldn’t be able to do it this year but they should fix this going forward.
MSHSL ruined football. Let’s see what sport they go after next.
 
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