With the Beach Ball Classic just weeks away, excitement is at an all-time high. Basketball standouts RJ Barrett from Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida and Zion Williamson from Spartanburg Day in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the country’s No. 1 and No. 2 high school players, will be part of this year’s star-studded field.
Barrett recently committed to Duke while the high-flying Williamson is entertaining offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, UNC, UCLA, and USC. While Williamson dominates the court in terms of points, it is his dunks for which he may be most famous. He was recently featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
“We always attract great teams, but this year we have the cream of the crop. Along with Barrett and Williamson, we have Wendell Moore and Rechon “Leaky” Black from Cox Mill, (NC) and Mike Devoe and Andrew Nembhard also from Montverde—all ranked in the top 50,” said Rhodes.
Other standouts include Andre Jackson from Albany Academy, Jamal Bey from Bishop Gorman and Jaxon Hayes, from Moeller. “These players have offers from top universities,” said Rhodes. “In fact, many of them have already committed.”
Scheduled for December 26-30 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this year’s tournament will see returning champ, Imhotep Charter (PA) along with former champions: Bishop Gorman (NV), Montverde Academy (FL) and four-time champion, Dematha Catholic (MD). “When you have teams like this, you know you have a great tournament. Montverde Academy is currently ranked #1 in in the country with a 159-11 record. Eight of our sixteen teams are nationally ranked,” said Rhodes.
Since 1981, over one million fans have witnessed the Beach Ball Classic, a holiday tradition for residents in and around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as basketball fans throughout the country. Each year, thousands flock to the South Carolina coast the week following Christmas for the lure of warmer weather and outstanding basketball. Past tournaments have featured now famous players including Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Ramon Sessions and Raymond Felton just to name a few.
“The excitement and the attendance of these tournaments has continued to grow,” said Rhodes. The addition of the CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational, a sister tournament featuring the nation’s top high school women’s teams, and the Carolinas Challenge featuring some of the country’s top women’s collegiate teams, have had a positive impact on sports in general and have added to the excitement of the Beach Ball Classic. Both tournaments are held the week prior to Christmas, immediately preceding the much-anticipated Beach Ball Classic.
Aside from being one of the most acclaimed high school tournaments in the nation, the Beach Ball Classic is widely recognized for its academic contribution. Since 1984, the Beach Ball Classic Scholarship Fund has awarded over $500,000 in college scholarships to more than 300 deserving high school students.
For those unable to attend the game, they will be broadcast live on WatchStadium.com.
- Viewers will have free access to Beach Ball Classic live games via broadcast television and local-market syndication on Stadium.
- Specifically, in the SC market, Stadium is available in Myrtle Beach/Florence on Cable Channels 1261 (Time Warner/Spectrum) and Channel 53 (Frontier), Channel 21-3 (WWMB-3) and in Columbia, SC on 57-2 (WACH-2).
- A full list of markets that Stadium is available on OTA television across the country can be found here: https://watchstadium.com/where-to-watch/.
- Games will also will be available via Stadium on free digital platforms including:
- The Stadium iOS and tvOS apps
- Stadium Android app
- Twitter (@WatchStadium)
- Pluto TV on Channel 207.
2017 Beach Ball Classic Lineup
Albany Academy (NY)
Bishop Gorman (NV)
Cox Mill (NC)
Dematha Catholic (MD)
Imhotep Charter (PA)
Lone Peak (UT)
Long Island Lutheran (NY)
Montverde Academy (FL)
Myrtle Beach (SC)
Scott County (KY)
Spartanburg Day (SC)
For more information, visit www.beachballclassic.com.