Several of the area’s top boys’ basketball teams will take to the national stage this weekend for one more test of their wills before entering conference and postseason play.
Here’s a breakdown of the showcase and tournaments over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend:
BASS PRO TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Date/Location: Thursday-Saturday at Missouri State in Springfield, Mo.
TV: Friday’s semifinals (8 and 9:30 p.m. and Saturday’s final (8:30 p.m.) on CBS Sports Network
Top teams: Nationally ranked Paul VI (ranked No. 2 in The Post), nationally ranked Montverde (Fla.) (consensus No. 1 team in country), nationally ranked White Station (Tenn.), Christ the King (N.Y.), Wesleyan Christian (N.C.)
Top players: Paul VI junior F Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown commit), Montverde senior G D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State), Wesleyan Christian senior G Theo Pinson (North Carolina), Montverde junior F Ben Simmons (LSU), White Station senior F Leron Black (Illinois), White Station senior G Chris Chiozza (Florida), Montverde junior F Makinde London (Xavier)
Skinny: Paul VI shocked the world last year by defeating then No. 1 Montverde in the Bass Pro T of C title game on a Kevin Dorsey buzzer beater, his second in as many nights. A title-game rematch could be in order, but both teams will have to navigate a tough slate that includes several strong prospects and teams. The Panthers open play Thursday against Willard.
Date/Location: Thursday-Monday at Springfield College (Mass.)
TV: Four games from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., televised Monday on ESPNU
Top teams: O’Connell (No. 4 in The Post) vs. nationally ranked Rainier Beach (Wash.) at 3 p.m. Saturday; DeMatha (No. 6 in The Post) vs. nationally ranked St. Joseph (N.J.) at 5 p.m. Sunday on the Basketball Channel; Paul VI vs. St. Anthony (N.J.) at 9:45 a.m. Monday
Top players: O’Connell senior G Melo Trimble (Maryland), St. Joseph senior F Karl Towns Jr. (Kentucky),Rainier Beach senior F Shaqquan Aaron (Louisville), Paul VI junior F Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), DeMatha sophomore F Joe Hampton, DeMatha senior G Corey Henson (Wagner)
Skinny: O’Connell will put its recent hot streak on the line against one of the nation’s top five teams in Rainier Beach. The Knights will need a big game from Trimble & Co. to hang with a Rainier team that’s averaging about 96 points per game. DeMatha will go up against forward Karl Towns Jr., whose versatile skills at 7 feet tall place him in the Magic Johnson mold. Finally, Paul VI will close a busy weekend against a tough St. Anthony team led by legendary Coach Bob Hurley.
THE MLK HOOPFEST SHOWCASE
Date/Location: Saturday-Monday at Coolidge High
Top teams: Riverdale Baptist (No. 1 in The Post), Calvert Hall (Md.), Clinton Christian (No. 8 in The Post), Wise (No. 9 in The Post), Theodore Roosevelt (No. 14 in The Post), Edison (No. 15 in The Post), Coolidge (No. 16 in The Post)
Top players: Riverdale Baptist senior F/C Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Clinton Christian senior G Jon Davis (DePaul), Clinton Christian senior G Byron Hawkins (Towson), Clinton Christian junior F Leroy Butts (Rutgers), Wise senior F Micah Till, Roosevelt senior G Johnnie Shuler (LaSalle), Edison junior F Tyvez Monroe, Coolidge senior F Jamall Gregory, Cesar Chavez senior G Tristan Thompson, Wakefield junior F Dominique Tham.
Skinny: The third annual event features 13 games across three days with loads of local talent. Top games include Edison squaring off with Wise at 5 p.m. Saturday in what should be a physical, uptempo contest. Immediately following that game, Riverdale Baptist, winner of 12 straight, will look to use its wealth of talent in taking on a strong Calvert Hall team. Sunday’s slate features Clinton Christian against South Carolina power Legacy Charter at 4 p.m. (Here’s the full weekend schedule.) Teams will encounter a college experience of sorts, staying overnight in hotels, eating team meals and taking part in financial literacy classes, as part of former Gonzaga and Georgetown standout and event organizer Mark Tillmon’s plan to educate kids for their future.