Holiday Basketball Tradition Returns to Fort Worth for the 54th Year
FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — This month, thousands of fans, players, coaches and scouts will flock to Fort Worth for one of the most anticipated events in high school basketball: the Whataburger Basketball Tournament, ranked by Sports Illustrated and USA Today as one of the nation’s top five holiday high school tournaments.
The 54th annual tournament to be held Wednesday, Dec. 28 through Friday, Dec. 30, features 48 top boys’ and girls’ high school basketball teams playing for one of three division titles. This year’s tournament boasts 46 teams from Texas, 10 of which are ranked in the state’s top 25 by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. In addition, Little Rock Parkview, ranked number one in Arkansas and a finalist in the 2010 Whataburger Tournament, is making a return appearance along with newcomer Milwaukee King, ranked third in Wisconsin.
“Whataburger is proud to sponsor this tournament and give exceptional high school athletes a chance to compete with teams they might otherwise not play in the course of the normal season,” said Whataburger President and Chief Operating Officer Preston Atkinson. “We believe in both the spirit of competition and cooperation and look forward to working alongside the hundreds of athletes, coaches, fans, parents, tournament staff and volunteers that make the tournament a success.”
As a new element this year, Whataburger will present three scholarships at the conclusion of the tournament, one to each division’s winning team.
“The tournament provides these top students the opportunity to showcase their athletic excellence,” Atkinson said. “The scholarships show just how passionate Whataburger is about also supporting academic excellence.”
The tournament began 54 years ago as a small fundraiser for Fort Worth’s West Side chapter of the Lions Club, with just eight teams competing. Today, 48 teams from far and wide attract more than 30,000 spectators and scouts from across Texas and beyond. The action takes place in three venues: the 5,000-seat W.G. Thomas Coliseum of Birdville Independent School District hosts the orange division teams; the 1,500-seat gym at Haltom High School hosts the boys’ blue division teams; and the 2,200-seat gym at Saginaw High School hosts the girls’ blue division teams.
In its storied history, the Whataburger Basketball Tournament has provided a national spotlight for players that went on to professional careers as players and coaches with the NBA. For example, Rashard Lewis, an alumnus of Elsik High School near Houston, is a two-time NBA All-Star currently playing for the Washington Wizards. Other tournament veterans include Sam Cassel, assistant coach for the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs Vice President of Basketball Operations Danny Ferry.
Fans hoping to see future rising stars can purchase individual tickets and three-day passes at the tournament’s three venues.
Participating teams follow below. For additional tournament information including ticket prices, team line-ups, brackets and specific player statistics, please visit www.whataburger-bbt.org. During the tournament, updates on scores and game schedules will also be posted real time on Facebook and on Twitter @WhataburgerBBT.
Orange Division Teams: Coppell Little Rock Parkview Arlington Martin DeSoto Garland Naaman Forest Flower Mound Marcus Richardson Berkner Milwaukee King Bedford L.D. Bell Arlington Heights Plano West Klein Forest North Crowley Justin Northwest Duncanville Richland Boys Blue Division Teams: Abilene Wylie Argyle Idalou Brock Burkburnett Clarksville Sanger Fairfield Fort Worth Christian Liberty Christian Lovejoy Kennedale Peaster Ponder Whitewright Van Girls Blue Division Teams: Abilene Wylie Idalou Argyle Crandall Alvord Lake Country Christian Liberty Christian Lovejoy Neches Smyer Peaster Saginaw Salado Sanger Brock Tuscola Jim Ned
For more information about Whataburger’s menu, locations and community outreach, visit www.whataburger.com, become a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/whataburger or follow us on Twitter @Whataburger.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Suzanne Miller or Tracy Aiello SPM Communications (817) 329-3257 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Meredith Hargrove Corporate Communications Whataburger Restaurants, LP (210) 476-6403 email@example.com