ESPN RISE ANNOUNCES NEW HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT:  “NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL INVITATIONAL” APRIL 3 – 5, 2009   Eight Boys and Four Girls Teams – 10 Games Live On ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPNU

ESPN RISE, in conjunction with Paragon Marketing Group, has developed a new post-season boys and girls high school basketball tournament called the National High School Invitational” (NHSI).  ESPN RISE’s NHSI will feature an eight boys team tournament and a four girls team tournament; games will be televised live on the ESPN family of networks: ESPN (1 game), ESPN2 (4 games) and ESPNU (6 games).  The event will take place April 3-5, 2009 at the Hanley Center at Georgetown Prep High School, Bethesda, Md.ESPN RISE’s NHSI will invite eight boys and four girls teams from eligible four-year high schools, independent and public, that have their respective governing body’s permission to participate in the inaugural tournament.  Teams will be chosen based upon their end-of-season ranking in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 and via a selection committee. Teams with post-graduate students or re-classified 5th year seniors will not be eligible for consideration for the NHSI.   “The National High School Invitational is the first ESPN RISE-created event under the new brand; it is wholly representative of the elite high school sports strategy set forth from the beginning,” said James Brown, senior vice president, ESPN RISE.  “It is a chance for high school sports fans to watch some of the best teams in the ESPN RISE FAB 50 and recruits in the ESPNU 100 play on a national level.”   The following governing bodies have granted their member schools permission to participate in the NHSI to date: Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (boys teams), the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (girls teams) and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (boys and girls teams).   “In collaboration with ESPN RISE, we created the NHSI to provide boys and girls teams a platform to culminate their season by playing in a high profile event against other top teams from around the nation,” said Rashid Ghazi, partner, Paragon Marketing Group.  “We have been pleased with the response from schools wanting to participate and expect the event to grow exponentially in size and stature over the next few years”   The following ESPN RISE FAB 50 ranked boys teams have confirmed that they will participate in the inaugural NHSI if selected to play: #3 Oak Hill Academy (VA), #4 St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ), #5 Findlay Prep (NV) and #9 Montrose Christian (MD).  Our Savior New American (NY), Mountain State Academy (WV) and Veritas Christian (NC) are among the other teams that have also agreed to participate if invited.   The NHSI is an extension of the company’s tradition of televising high school basketball games.  By the end of the 2008/2009 season, ESPN Inc. will have broadcast a total of 56 regular season games on its networks since 2002; 15 during the 2008-09 season.  The televised games have featured 66 different high schools, representing 20 states from across the nation.

Advertisements