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From left: Brian Mueller, GCU President, Jerry Colangelo, John Doleva of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Paul Lambert, Vice President, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. (Photo by Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- Arizona will be hosting a basketball tournament for the best high school teams in the U.S.

The first annual Hoophall West basketball tournament will be in Phoenix on Dec. 13 and Dec. 14. The competition will be sponsored by Grand Canyon University and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame President and CEO, John Doleva, said the event will be patterned after an eastern tournament held at Springfield College in Massachusetts.

"For the past 13 years, working with their sports management and sports marketing groups, we have run a major national high school event that gets major top ten teams," Doleva said.

Vice President Paul Lambert said eight Arizona schools will participate. Those schools have yet to be named. He added that five schools have already scheduled to attend including Virginia's Oak Hill Academy, Nevada's Bishop Gorman, Texas' Yates High School as well as California's Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran.

Doleva explained that GCU students associated with the Colangelo School of Sports Business will help set up the tournament.

"Students in the school of sports business will be able to participate and get hands-on experience," Doleva said. "[Their experience will be] all the way from event planning to execution to the day after, when we recap on whether the event was successful or not."

Bob McClay, Reporter

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