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Valley hosting Hoophall West high school basketball tournament

PHOENIX -- Valley basketball fans can check out potential future college and NBA stars this weekend in Phoenix.

The first ever Hoophall West high school tournament tournament is at Grand Canyon University Arena. It's a western version of the Naismith Hall of Fame's Hoophall Classic that takes place this January in Springfield, Mass.

Hoophall West Chairman Jerry Colangelo is excited for the event.

"It's a great opportunity for people who love high school basketball to see some of the really best players and teams. For the people involved in the recruiting area of college basketball, it's a great opportunity to see some players," Colangelo said. "More importantly, It's just bringing more basketball into our community, and, to me, that's what it's all about. Raising the bar. Raising the interest."

Colangelo said that several top teams from Arizona high schools will be playing.

"Corona Del Sol, Chapparral, Westview, Mesquite, Desert Mountain, Gilbert High, Shadow Mountain and Milennium," said Colangelo.

There were also be schools from California and other states.

The tournament features several players who could become college stars.

"One player who is ranked number nine on the ESPN top 100 is Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei High School (in California)," Colangelo said. "He's already committed to the University of Arizona."

The two-day tournament features eight games, four on Friday and four on Saturday.

For Hoophall West ticket information click here

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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