SALT LAKE CITY — Orem High School will once again host the Great Western Shootout high school basketball invitational December 5-7. The tournament drew sellout crowds last season, and this year the tournament is even better.
"The Great Western Shootout started out as a high school event but quickly turned into a community event and now in just our third year, a national event," said Golden Holt, tournament founder and head basketball coach at Orem High School.
The tournament will provide $10,000 in scholarship money to the four participating Utah teams that include Lone Peak, the defending national champions, along with American Fork, Bingham and Orem.
It will also give those teams a chance to face four standout programs from around the country.
T.J. Haws (ESPN Top 40 & BYU Commit)
Frank Jackson (Class of 2016 - Top 50 Western US)
Orem (Utah), 2012 State Champions (four returning starters)
Dalton Nixon (Scout.com Top 150 & BYU Commit)
American Fork (Utah)
Brendan Bailey (Class of 2016 - Top 25 Western US)
Ryan Andrus (4 D-1 offers), Tyler Rawson (D-1 offer)
Jordan Evans (Class of 2014 - Top 10 in Utah)
Dalton Schultz (ESPN Top 150; 20-plus D-1 football offers)
De Ron Davis (Class of 2016 - No. 5 ranked sophomore in the US)
Austin Conway (Class of 2015 - No. 44 ranked junior in the US)
Denver East (Colo.)
Dominique Collier (Scout.com Top 100 & Colorado Commit)
Ronnie Harrell (7 D-1 offers); Tyre Robinson (3 D-1 offers)
Foothill (Nevada), No. 1 Ranked Team in Las Vegas
Austin Starr (Class of 2014 - Top 10 in Nevada)
Bishop O'Connell (Virginia), Ranked No. 24 in the Nation
Romelo Trimble (Scout.com Top 100 player & Maryland commit)
Leroy Butts (Rivals.com - Top 50 ranked sophomore)
Bishop O'Connell (Virginia) has been one of the top programs in the nation and finished the season ranked No. 15 nationally. Denver East and Overland are powerhouse programs from Colorado that will not only contend for state championships in their home state but are two of the best programs in the West. Foothill will once again be a state title contender in the state of Nevada.
The tournament features 12 players who have committed to play at Division I schools; three of those players are committed to BYU. TJ Haws (Lone Peak), Dalton Nixon (Orem) and Ryan Andrus (American Fork) have all committed to play for Dave Rose and the Cougars. They will get the chance to play against some of the elite talent in the country.
Bishop O'Connell guard Romelo Trimble, who committed to the University of Maryland, is ranked in the top 50 by rivals.com. Dominque Collier, last year's Colorado Player of the Year, is back for Denver East and De'Ron Williams, a sophomore at Overland, is one of the hottest recruits in the country and has already received an offer from Indiana.
"Our idea is to grow this event and make it bigger each year. I think we've done that with the addition of teams like Bishop O'Connell, who has a legendary program," Holt said. "This year's event includes a slam dunk and three-point contest along with a fireworks show and a dance that will be hosted by U-92 radio station that is open to the community."
Play begins Thursday with four games and continues through Saturday. Friday features Lone Peak vs. Bishop O'Connell along with Orem vs. Denver East, American Fork vs. Overland and Bingham vs. Foothill. The schedule for Saturday will be determined on Friday.
Reserved seating tickets are on sale now. Fans can purchase reserved seating that will guarantee them premium seats for games that will likely sell out. For more details about the tournament go to greatwesternshootout.com.