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Go to team in: Power96 Challenge | Kreul Championship | Publix Challenge | The Rock Challenge
The 24th annual Kreul Classic is set to deliver some of the finest match-ups and hardwood moments of the 2013-14 prep basketball season. With 28 talented teams competing for the championship in four high-caliber brackets (Kreul Championship, Power96 Elite Challenge, Publix Challenge, The Rock Challenge) the prestigious national showcase tournament is set to attract attention from fans and coaches across the country.
Fifteen of the 28 impressive teams are from South Florida with the balance traveling from New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, South Carolina, Washington DC and North Florida to showcase their skills.
Among the top teams set to appear are Chicago De La Salle (Ill.) Weston Sagemont (Fla.) Brooklyn South Shore (N.Y.) Mabelton Whitefield Academy (Ga.) and Montgomery Carver (Ala.) Perennial national powerhouse Plano Prestonwood Christian (Tex.) also returns for another run at a Kreul title. Prestonwood’s last Kreul appearance in 2009, was fueled by Julius Randle who is currently making national headlines as one of the top college freshman and a member of John Calipari’s No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
This year’s competition will be highlighted by ESPN-ranked players and Division 1 prospects like Prince Ali (No. 59 ESPN – Sagemont), George Mason commit Eric Lockett (Whitefield), Demetrius Houston (No. 124 Rivals – Carver), Pine Crest’s Antonio Vrankovic and Gulliver’s Antonio Ralat, starting point guard for the U16 Puerto Rico National Team.
Teams will compete in four different brackets: Power96 Elite Challenge, Kreul Championship, Publix Challenge and The Rock Challenge.
2013 Kreul Classic Team
profiled by Gary Curreri
Note: Rankings indicate position in their class
POWER96 ELITE CHALLENGE TEAMS
CARVER (Montgomery, AL)
Head Coach: James Jackson
(26-3) The Wolverines have been to the state finals four of the past five years and won the Class 6A state championship in 2012-13. Carver High School is named after the famous African American George Washington Carver. It returns Mississippi State commit Demetrius Houston, a 6-6, senior small forward, who averaged 15.2 points and 7 rebounds last year.
Returning Starters: Demetrius Houston (No. 124 Rivals), Caleb Provitt, Brandon Murphy, Brandon Austin (Alabama).
Key Newcomers: Harold Caldwell.
DEERFIELD BEACH (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Head Coach: Kenny Brown
(30-5) The Bucks graduated some key starters from last year’s team that lost in last year’s Class 8A state semifinal, 57-54 to the eventual state champion, Hagerty (Oviedo). Deerfield Beach is home to current New York Giants Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre –Paul and current Jacksonville Jaguar Denard “Shoelace” Robinson.
Returning Starters: Vanderbilt Carpenter, Solomon Kelly (No. 75 Florida Hoops – state), Lewayne Grant.
Key Newcomers: Marvin Jean-Pierre, Raynard Robinson.
DE LA SALLE INSTITUTE (Chicago, IL)
Head Coach: Tom White
(17-8) Perennially one of the top three teams in its conference the past 10 years, winning six titles. The legendary school had the NBA’s number one overall pick in 1972 by the Portland Trailblazers (LaRue Martin). Last year’s squad graduated four players who are all playing at D-1 schools. This year’s team has been billed by the coaching staff as “the fast and the furious.”
Returning Starters: Brandon Hutton, Martez Cameron.
Key Newcomers: Karl Harris, Paul Zabiliulcius, George Wilbon.
SAGEMONT SCHOOL (Weston, FL)
Head Coach: Adam Ross
(23-6) The Lions won the 2011 Class 2A state title with a 53-41 victory over Florida Academy (Orlando). Sagemont returned the following year and came up short as it lost to Tampa Prep, 58-50 in the Class 3A final. Former Lions big man Fab Melo was the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Boston Celtics. Source Hoops predicts another Final Four appearance for this year’s talented Sagemont squad.
Returning Starters: Jordan Cooper, Joe Kirby (No. 88 Florida Hoops – state), A.J. Jurko.
Key Newcomers: Prince Ali (No. 59 ESPN; No. 75 Rivals), Lance Crawford (No. 32 Florida Hoops – state), G.G. Goloman (UCLA).
KREUL CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS
BREWBAKER TECHNOLOGY MAGNET (Montgomery, AL)
Head Coach: Chauncey Shines
(25-5) Rams head coach Chauncey Shines recently surpassed 200 career wins (202-85) while with the Rams. Brewbaker Technology Magnet has been the 4A Area Champions from 2009-13; 4A Regional champions in 2008 and 2009. The Rams were also the Class 4A state runner-up in 2009.
Returning Starters: Steve Rogers, Jalen Levett, Jaylon Davis, Anthony Satterwhite, Robert Lewis.
Key Newcomers: Austin Rogers.
CARDINAL GIBBONS (FT. Lauderdale, FL)
Head Coach: Marty Seidlin
(19-5) The Chiefs lost to Leesburg 66-58 in the Class 4A state final in 2011 and was stunned in the District 13-4A semifinal last year as it dropped a 62-52 decision to University School. Cardinal Gibbons won the Kreul Elite Challenge Division in 2011 by defeating South Shore. Last year, Jose Morales received the K.L. Tooze MVP award when the team won the Kreul Publix Challenge.
Returning Starters: Jose Morales (No. 15 Florida Hoops – state), Melvin Brooks (No. 42 Florida Hoops – state), Richard McIntosh.
Key Newcomers: Greg Kacprazak.
CORAL SPRINGS CHRISTIAN (Coral Springs, FL)
Head Coach: Steve Fitzgerald
(23-9) The Crusaders reached the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time in program history, and they upset five-time state champ Melbourne Florida Air to reach the Class 3A final, which they lost to Jacksonville Providence 62-56. The Crusaders finished this year with a 29-4 record, beating district rival and state power Sagemont twice, including in the regional semifinals, as well as 2A state champ Grandview Prep, 4A state semifinalist Ransom Everglades, 8A regional finalist Jupiter and 4A regional finalist University School. Jeffrey Prophete is regarded as the top point guard in the state (Source Hoops.)
Returning Starters: Alaowei Talent (No. 19 Florida Hoops – state).
Key Newcomers: Omar Outar, Sherack Malokwu.
FLANAGAN (Pembroke Pines, FL)
Head Coach: Cliff Mayers
(13-7) Keaton Copeland, Adrian Thomas (UM) and Khyle Marshall (Butler) are the three most prominent players to graduate from Flanagan. Second-year coach Cliff Mayers is working to match the success Flanagan is having on the gridiron as this year’s team earned their first playoff berth in program history.
Returning Starters: Keavon Mitchell, Kyanti Blyden, Harry Norton, Kenneth Watson.
GULLIVER PREPATORY SCHOOL (Miami, FL)
Head Coach: Manny Bloom
(22-7) The program is on the rise after it added Puerto Rican National Team point guard Antonio Ralet last season. Ralet averaged 17.9 points per game in addition to 5.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per contest. The team has three guards being recruited at different college levels and is hoping for big things this season.
Returning Starters: Antonio Ralat. Enrique Lafuente, Marc Chasin
Key Newcomers: Chinedu Victor Uyaelunmo, Cody Bowes.
SOUTH SHORE (Brooklyn, NY)
Head Coach: Mike Beckles
(22-6) The Vikings have been one of New York City’s elite teams and tied for second last year in the Brooklyn AA Division of the Public School Athletic League. The Vikings are searching for their first state title, however head coach Mike Beckles believes this year’s team could contend because of its strong guard play and inside presence.
Returning Starters: Shakur Spencer, Doudmy St. Hilaire, Devyn Wilson.
Key Newcomers: Latique Laney, Ryan Preston, Tyrone Johnson.
SPRUCE CREEK (Port Orange, FL)
Head Coach: Joe Giddens
(14-11) The Hawks play in the same district as the defending Class 8A state champion (Hagerty) and went 1-2 against them last year. Spruce Creek is traveling south for their second Kreul appearance. Look for versatile 6-5 junior PG Kyle Clarke to spark the Hawk’s run.
Returning Starters: Kyle Clarke, Keyshawn Johnson, Niko Green, Nate Anthony.
Key Newcomers: Taron Hough, Kendall Gaddy, Twan Williams.
WHITEFIELD ACADEMY (Mableton, GA)
Head Coach: Tyrone Johnson
(18-10) In Johnson’s 12 years at the helm, the Wolfpack has won three state titles (2003, 2009, and 2012); played in six state finals and three final fours. Whitefield Academy has hosted two former NBA first round picks Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) and Javaris Crittenton (LA Lakers). The Hawks have produced 19 collegiate athletes – 15 in basketball and 4 in football - and returns all but one player from last year’s squad.
Returning Starters: Eric Lockett (George Mason), Berto Dryden, Brendon Myles, Jesse Byrd, Norman Harris.
Key Newcomers: Courtney Alexander Jr., Lawrence Waters.
PUBLIX CHALLENGE TEAMS
BELEN JESUIT PREPARATORY (Miami, FL)
Head Coach: Jose Roca
(15-11) The school is celebrating its 160th year anniversary. It was established in Havana, Cuba in 1854 and has operated continuously ever since. Wolverines coach Jose Roca is nearing a coaching landmark of 300 victories (290-168). Belen Jesuit returns seven players, including two starters from last year’s team.
Returning Starters: Nicolas Iparraguirre, John Medina.
Key Newcomers: Frank Battle, Matthew Fernandez, Andres Perez, Jonathan Herrera.
CORAL SPRINGS CHARTER (Coral Springs, FL)
Head Coach: Alex Groothius
(14-6) The Panthers return four starters from last year’s team that lost to the eventual district champion University School, 59-58 in overtime. Coral Springs Charter has two players who have gone on to the NFL including Darius Butler (Indianapolis Colts) and Evan Landi (New England Patriots).
Returning Starters: Austin Vaughn, Alonso Taylor Jr., Trevor Lee, Karl Aylton.
Key Newcomers: Milan Civdad Real, Mateo Halguin.
DILLARD (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Head Coach: Darryl Burrows
(14-11) The Panthers finished as district runner-up last year and lost to American Heritage-Plantation in the regional semifinals. Dillard is tied for seventh for the most state titles with five. The Panthers won four consecutive titles from (2000-2003) and again in 2008. Darryl Burrows is still looking for his first win as head coach in the Kreul. He was an assistant to the late Butch Ingram when the Panthers won in 1992.
Returning Starters: Cedrick Wright (No. 26 Florida Hoops – state), Tyson Grace, Tristan Pendergraph, Trandon Smith.
Key Newcomers: Charles Maloney, Keion Farrington.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL (Winnsboro, SC)
Head Coach: Devin Liferidge
(14-10) The Griffins advanced to the second round of the state playoffs last season and hopes to build off that success this year. Fairfield Central has an experienced line-up with 10 seniors led by three-year starters Keith Workman and Jalyn Davis.
Returning Starters: Keith Workman, Jalyn Davis, Dre Belton, Daniel Maple, Chanti Jones.
NORTHWOOD TEMPLE (Fayetteville, NC)
Head Coach: Chris Lattimer
(28-11) The team went to the NCISAA Final four last year after winning the conference regular season and conference tournaments. The Eagles also won the conference tournament in 2011-12. Northwood Temple has three alumni that went on to college including Sidy Djitte (Clemson), Willy Akasson (Emmanuel) and Aaron Totter (West Point).
Returning Starters: Macoumba Kane.
Key Newcomers: Jabi Hughes, Jabrie Bullard.
PRESTONWOOD CHRISTIAN (Plano, TX)
Head Coach: Chris Lovell
(15-19) The Lions is the two-time defending TAPPS Class 5A state champion. Prestwood Christian also won the state championship in 2010. The 2012 squad was ranked in the top 10 nationally in all three major polls (Max Preps, ESPN and USA Today.) The Lions just sent three players to D-1 colleges, including Zach Peters (Arizona), Marquan Botley (Florida Atlantic University), and McDonald’s All American Julius Randle who is capturing national headlines as a part of John Calipari’s exceptional freshman class at Kentucky.
Returning Starters: Shane Missimo, Evan Peters, DJ McGee.
Key Newcomers: Schinder Herrard, Chris Stephens.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Head Coach: Steve Strand
(18-6) St. Thomas Aquinas is in its 78th year as a school and has reached the state Final Four six times, winning the Class 5A state final in 2001. The Raiders won the Kreul Classic Sweet Sixteen Championship in 2006. Head coach Steve Strand is a 1976 graduate of the school, while assistant Bryan White is a 2004 graduate.
Returning Starters: Sidney Umude (Youngstown), Sean Downes.
Key Newcomer: Brandon Marshall.
WESTERN (Davie, FL)
Head Coach: Steve Todd
(16-6) Western head coach is nearing 300 victories in his career (275-191) and hopes to lead the Wildcats to the state playoff series. The Wildcats, which qualified for the Big 8 tournament last year, last advanced to the state tournament in 2011. It also went in 1996 and 2002.
Returning Starters: Alex Artaza, Josh Royes.
Key Newcomer: Chris Radler.
THE ROCK CHALLENGE TEAMS
COOLIDGE (Washington, DC)
Head Coach: Vaughn Jones
(26-5) Milt Newton, the General Manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, is an alumni of the school, which also boasts former NBA player Donald Hodge (Dallas Mavericks), and former NFL Player Jerry Porter (Oakland Raiders) among its graduates. Coolidge won the inaugural DC State Championship in 2013 in addition to being a 7-time DCIAA Division champions (2006-13) and back-to-back public school champions (2012-13). In the Colt’s last Kreul appearance in 2009, the team was fueled by Georgetown’s starting point guard Markel Starks, a preseason Big East first team selection.
Returning Starters: Kory Cooley, Sam Briggs, Justin Route.
Key Newcomers: Jamall Gregory, Doug Farley.
CORAL SPRINGS (Coral Springs, FL)
Head Coach: Devin Barta
(8-14) The Colts reached the regional quarterfinals in 2010 when it dropped a 58-52 decision to Santaluces. Devin Barta, a Coral Springs High grad who was a recipient of the Kreul Classic scholarship in 2003, takes the reigns as head coach after previously serving as an assistant at the school. The Colts, which returns the entire team from last seaon, boast alumni Gabe Dos Santos (University of Detroit) and two-time Olympian track star Walter Dix.
Returning Starters: Jeff Altidort, Garven Charles, Jonado Fils, Myron Dewar, Michael Carey.
Key Newcomers: Chris Lucien, Stefan Sweet.
GRANT COUNTY (Dry Ridge, KY)
Head Coach: Brandon Grammer
(24-6) The Braves are trying to end an 84-year drought since winning its last state title in 1930. Grant County has reached back-to-back regional tournaments and returns all five starts from last year’s squad.
Returning Starters: Logan Cummins, Aaron Hicks, Austin Johnson, Jordan Saylor, Seth Adkins.
Key Newcomers: Cameron Burk, Colin Albers.
LEE (Huntsville, AL)
Head Coach: Greg Brown
(33-4) Greg Brown is in his 10th season at the school and is closing in on 300 career victories (266-54). The Generals won the 2010 state title and were state runner-ups in 2011 and 2012. Lee was the regional runner-up last season.
Returning Starters: Tony Reynolds, Jay Thomas, Khwan Pore, Taylor Moore, Arron King.
Key Newcomers: Gerron Scissor, Tracy Barnett, Evan Wiley.
NORTH BROWARD PREP (Coconut Creek, FL)
Head Coach: Scott Williams
(16-13) The Eagles knocked off defending state champion Pine Crest, 61-58 in the district semifinals last season en route to a regional quarterfinal appearance. North Broward Prep reached the Class 2A regional final in 2003 when it lost to American Heritage-Plantation, 76-65.
Returning Starters: Sammis Reyes, Jacolby Harris (No. 94 Florida Hoops – state), Alex Rifkind (Loyola Marymount).
PINE CREST (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Head Coach: David Beckerman
(18-9) Pine Crest has won three state championships (2008, 2009 and 2012) and had made six consecutive appearances in the state final four. Brandon Knight is the school’s most notable basketball graduate and he currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks after being drafted eighth overall by the Detroit Pistons two years ago. Knight won the 2009 and 2010 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year Award.
Returning Starters: Antonio Vrankovic (No. 11 Florida Hoops – state).
Key Newcomers: AJ Haeffner, Brett Haeffner.
SALEM (Conyers, GA)
Head Coach: Noah Harrell
(16-13) The Seminoles are coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in school history. Salem was regular season co-champs last season and the regional runner-up. The Seminoles, which set a school record for scoring last season, have also been to the state tournament the past three years.
Returning Starters: Demyon Greenwood, Jousel Lumpkin, Robert Baker, Austin Samuel, David Noble.
Key Newcomers: Quintavious Byrd.
ZION LUTHERAN (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Head Coach: John Guion
(22-8) The Lions enjoyed the best season in school history after it won the district championship and reached the Class 2A regional finals where it dropped a 71-48 decision to Westwood Christian. It had been a dozen years since Zion Lutheran had reached the state tournament.
Returning Starters: Keith Stone (No. 46 Florida Hoops – state), Vince Stubbs, Brandon Bornelus, Rashad Witty.
Key Newcomers: Gibson Louis, Kevin Augustine.
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