Two Lakers players whose roots were planted in vastly different regions will have huge impacts on pre-season high school basketball tournaments that will tip off this week featuring their alma mater.
LeBron James, the Akron born Northeast Ohio legend, will introduce the inaugural The Chosen 1’s Invitational at newly named Crypto.com Arena featuring St. Vincent St.-St. Mary High School on Dec. 4th in downtown Los Angeles.
James put St. Vincent-St. Mary on the map and the school has named its gymnasium for him.
The event will feature four games beginning at 2p.m. with (Los Angeles) Fairfax vs. St. Vincent-St. Mary girls, followed by (Chatsworth) Sierra Canyon vs. New York Christ the King girls at 3:30p.m., then two boys games highlighted by New York Christ the King vs. Fairfax at 5p.m. and Sierra Canyon will take on St. Vincent-St. Mary at 7p.m.
Sierra Canyon girls feature the top girls basketball player in the nation in sophomore Juju Watkins, who transferred from Windward.
Meanwhile, Sierra Canyon boys feature UCLA bound Amir Bailey and Bronny James the top ranked team in the nation, while none of the others squads register on any national radar.
Trevor Ariza is a name that is synonymous with Westchester High School where he starred before enrolling at UCLA and going on to a stellar NBA career have his namesake long running Trevor Ariza Tip Off Classic that will start this week and conclude on Dec. at his alma mater.
Ariza who returned to the Lakers on a one year deal this season has been instrumental supporting the event and the school which recently named its first Black boys basketball coach in Dewitt Cotton
Also in the Tip Off, Inglewood’s Omar Brey leads the Sentinels in his second season at the helm.
Among the scheduled teams in the Tip Off Classic are host Westchester, Bishop Montgomery, Lawndale, Washington Prep, Santa Monica, St. Bernard, Inglewood, Village Christian and (Reseda) Cleveland.
Ed Azzam, the winningest coach in Los Angeles City Section History, retired following last season COVID-19 shortened campaign turning over the reigns to his long tenured assistant Cotton.