Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gryphons headed back to the Glaxo

The GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament, one of the nation's top prep basketball Christmas tournaments, will celebrate its 40th birthday when it gets underway this Christmas (Dec. 26-29) at Broughton High School's Holliday Gym in Raleigh.

I gather, the event's organizers are waxing nostalgic as they invited Rocky Mount's boys basketball team back to play in the event. The Gryphons played in the very first tournament - back in 1972 at the Raleigh Civic Center.

There will be more on this as it comes out. RMHS head coach Mike Gainey asks just one request of the event's schedule makers - "Can I be in a bracket with the Millbrooks and Broughtons and not the Word of Gods?"

Rocky Mount, in its last appearance in 2008, lost to Word of God (67-41), beat North Mecklenburg  in overtime (66-62) and fell to Middle Creek (64-51) in the fifth place game.

I got to thinking about all the great prep players that have played in the event. And someone had already done the work for me.

The News and Observer's Tim Stevens came up with his best players of each decade of the event .. and I have no problem with his list. See what you think! I will boldface those who played in North Carolina - prep and/or college

The 1970s

Phil Ford, Rocky Mount (1972-73), Buck Williams, Rocky Mount (1977), Danny Young, Enloe (1978-79), Harold Thompson, Raeford Hoke (1978-79), Joe Perry, Broughton (1975-76).

The 1980s

Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis Treadwell (1989); Rodney Rogers (Hillside, 1989), Shawn Bradley, Emery County, Utah (1989); Allan Houston, Louisville Ballard (1988), Jason Kidd, Alameda, Calif., St. Joseph (1988); Billy Owens, Carlisle, Pa. (1987); Rodney Monroe, Hagerstown (Md.) St. Maria-Goretti (1986), Nate McMillan, Enloe (1981), Bernard Terrell, Broughton (1986-87); Jamie Holland (Wake Forest-Rolesville.)

The 1990s

Donald Williams, Garner (1990), Travis Best, Springfield Central, Mass. (1990); Chris Duhon, Slidell (La.) Salmon (1999); Ron Curry, Hampton, Va. (1997); Mike Miller, Mitchell, S.D. (1997); David West, Garner (1997); Tim Thomas, Paterson, N.J. (1995), Adonal Foyle, Hamilton (N.Y.) Central, (1993); Randy Livingston, New Orleans Newman (1992); Jerry Stackhouse, Kinston (1991); Rodrick Rhodes, Jersey City St. Anthony (1991).

The 2000s

John Wall, Raleigh Word of God (2007-08), C.J. Leslie, Word of God (2007-09); Mason Plumlee, Arden Christ (2008); Lorenzo Brown, Centennial, Ga. (2008); Ryan Kelly, Ravenscroft (2008); Tasmin Mitchell, Denham Springs, La. (2004); Josh Smith, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill (2003); Rajon Rondo, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill (2003); P.J. Tucker, Enloe (2002); Luol Deng, Blair Academy (2002); Charlie Villanueva, Blair Academy (2002)

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