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Big-Time High School Basketball Comes to La Verne on Saturday

January 20, 2011
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Defending state champion La Verne Lutheran will try to provide a Rolls Royce-type performance in the 1st Annual California Elite Showcase at the University of La Verne this Saturday.

Defending state champion La Verne Lutheran will try to provide a Rolls Royce-type performance in the 1st Annual California Elite Showcase at the University of La Verne this Saturday.

The 1st Annual California Elite Showcase will bring together some of the top high school basketball teams from California, all competing this Saturday at the University of La Verne. This year’s match-ups include three California State Champions, two Sectional Champions, one Sectional Finals Runner-Up, four players currently ranked as one of the Top Twenty Five best players in the USA, six players ranked in the Top 50 Best Players in the USA and 10 plus players ranked in the Top 100 Best Players in the USA.

Here are times and match-ups:
 
2:00 pm Diamond Ranch High School (Diamond Bar) vs Ayala High School (Chino Hills)

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3:30 pm Eisenhower High (Rialto) vs Salesian High School (Richmond)

5:00 pm Hoover High (San Diego) vs Roosevelt (Corona)

6:30 pm Lutheran High (La Verne) vs Price High (Los Angeles)

8:00 pm Lincoln High (San Diego) vs Sacramento High (Sacramento)
 
“You’re not going to see anything like this,” said La Verne Lutheran Coach Eric Cooper, one of the Showcase organizers. The match-ups are good; it’s north versus south, and we have the middle covered, too.”

Bringing so much talent under one roof – or in La Verne’s case, under one tent – is exciting for players, fans and the many scouts on hand.

“We’re trying to give our local kids a chance to play high-level competition,” said Cooper, whose defending state champions currently sport an 8-3 record after facing some of the nation’s best talent in earlier tournaments in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Springfield, Mo. “If you look at the kids who are involved, many are Division I players. This showcase is going to feature some of most potent match-ups we’ve ever seen in this area.

In the last couple of years, Cooper has helped place tiny La Verne Lutheran on the basketball map by taking on a brutal basketball schedule. The Myrtle Beach tournament is the second highest-rated tournament in the nation, according to Cooper. In Springfield, where Lutheran went 2-1, the Trojans played in front of daily crowds of 10,000 fans or more. The championship game drew 13,000 fans.

Only Southern California powers like Mater Dei and a few other elite programs have taken on such an ambitious schedule.

“That ‘s how Mater Dei got started,” Cooper said. “That’s how you turn a La Verne Lutheran program into a Mater Dei-type school. You have to get your players looks and expose them to the best programs out there.”

Ticket prices on Saturday are $10 for adults and $8 for children.

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