Looking back at GDS and the Pizza Hut Invitational Basketball Tournament

Posted by Andy Durham on January 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm under High School | 19 Comments to Read

Four times three or 4 x’s 3 and that =’s 12(twelve) and that’s the number of straight games the Greensboro Day School Bengals have now won in the Pizza Hut Invitational.

Four years as CHAMPS and 12 wins in a row, who will be the next team that beats GDS and will it happen next year? The tournament is an Invitational and the Greensboro Sports Council could invite teams from outside the area, but the way things work now, all of the proceeds still go to the local schools.

Do we need to start bringing in outside schools in order to step up the competition? How much money would the outside schools get? Would part of their cut be used to cover their expenses? Hotel, food, etc.?????

Should we even be talking about this? Probably not…..

This is already a great tournament, keep it the same. It’s really such a great fundraiser for the area schools and even if you lose, you win when you get the $10,000.00-plus check for your school’s athletic fund.

Coach Freddy Johnson’s kids voted 17-0 to stay here in town and play in this tournament again this year and that says a mouthful. They don’t want to got anywhere else. As soon as the Dudley kids got back to town from Puerto Rico(and I hear they got the Robert Montgomery Knight-type treatment) they were right out there at the Coliseum.

This same question comes up every year at the conclusion of the event. Do we need to bring in outside teams and change the format of the tournament?????

Let’s say NO, and wait and see who the next team to beat Greensboro Day School will be. Our County schools will have to work harder and I bet you Ragsdale would be ready to play GDS in a re-match this Friday night at 7:30, you name the location……..

That’s the best thing about playing in tournaments and settings like this, every time out is another learning experience. Right next to Christmas, I would say Jay Canty and Ragsdale have next year’s tourney circled on their calendars and nothing will get in the way of them returning to the Special Events Center in 2010……

And another thing, our guys do get to play the outside schools when they bring them in for the MLK Day action at the Coliseum…..Christ School is already singing, bring on Oak Hill.

There were three men with local ties that passed away between last year’s Pizza Hut Tourney and this year’s event and their names were printed in the program.

They were:
Jeff Carlton-News and Record
Vic Sapp-Local and State-wide basketball leader
Bob Doss-Palomino Baseball pioneer

*****The deaths of these fine men were among the most talked about stories of 2008 at GREENSBOROSports.com.*****


  • E said,

    I have a lot of respect for Greensboro Day and their athletic program. The one problem I have with them is recruiting. If we could all recruit like they can this tournament would be a whole different ball game.

  • joe said,

    I agree E. But it’s not so much they recruit but they have something to recruit WITH. They have a perceived better education to offer for free or at a discount. The opportunity to go to a school with less distractions than many public schools and more resources can be attractive to some parents. Combine that with a good coach in Freddy Johnson and it becomes an attractive package.

    In fairness to GDS, only a very few of those kids get assistance and it varies from year to year. Most of those kids are not there for basketball. Which is a kudo to Coach Johnson in building a team each year.

  • dewright said,

    GDS plays by the rules of the NCISAA. The school has never been accused or investigated by the NCISAA for any form of wrong-doing. N-E-V-E-R.

    The way the NCISAA works is this: No athletic representative of the school can approach a prospective student-athlete (i.e., someone who is not yet a student at the school) until the parents of that prospective student-athlete have made a formal inquiry with the school’s admissions department. In other words, first contact must be initiated by the prospect. If it happens the other way around, if, for instance, a coach at an NCISAA school approaches a kid at an AAU tournament and says, “You should come to my school.”, then that school has committed a major recruiting violation within the NCISAA.

    Once the formal contact has been made with the school, then representatives from the school (including coaches) can make as many contacts as they wish with the student.

    Also to note, NCISAA schools are not allowed to give financial assistance tied to sports participation.

  • Skeptical said,

    GDS is a great team but I don’t see any reason to celebrate the victory. It’s not really a great feat to win a city tournament when you have recruited the best kids in the city to play for you. Ryan Carty, Jay Lewis, and Brandon Dorsett all went to Kernodle Middle School and would have played for Northwest Guilford. So, it’s really not that big a deal when they win. If they were to have lost to any team in this tournament that would have been embarrassing but they did what they were supposed to. It’s like making free throws. It’s not a big deal when you make a shot your supposed to make; it’s only noticed when you miss.

  • LCS said,

    I know that there isn’t supposed to be any financial assitance tied to sports but you can take a prospective athlete and find some type of aid to get him in the school. Although it isn’t explicitly money for sports. If he wasn’t a good athlete he wouldn’t be getting the aid.

  • hoopsnut said,

    I would like for you guys to look at what SKEPTICAL said:

    “It’s not really a great feat to win a city tournament when you have recruited the best kids in the city to play for you. Ryan Carty, Jay Lewis, and Brandon Dorsett all went to Kernodle Middle School and would have played for Northwest Guilford.”

    Are you serious? So you are trying to say that GDS has the best talent in the city? And has had it for the past four years? How many kids have gone on to play college basketball? In the last four years please tell me. TWO!!! Johnny Thomas at NC State and Josh Lanham at St. Andrews for one year. There is no way anyone who was at the tournament could say that GDS had the best talent. At least not 1-5. Maybe 1-10. What you can say is that they have the best team. The best group of guys that play together. The best understanding of basketball. I guess the 3 years before that they beat Dudley they were more talented than Dudley. And speaking of talent. Where are the players from Northern Guilford from? How many school districts do they draw from? And what about Dudley? Ask Smith high school how many players are or have been to Dudley that were supposed to go to Smith. You guys can give GDS and Coach Johnson all the grief you want to. If you want to talk about coaches pursuing players go talk to Ragsdale about Jonathan Frye. Talk to Smith about a number of different guys. You guys are pointing the blame at the wrong guy here. Bottom line is they produce. And most of the time with less talent. Not that the talent is bad, but just not always the best.

  • dewright said,

    Skeptical and LCS just don’t get it, and that’s fine. Greensboro Day School is not worried about people who — regardless of the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever to support their assertions — wish to spit out the sour grapes.

    GDS last year had 8 academic (read: “non-college athlete material”) acceptances to Duke University out of a class of less than 80. That is emblematic of the academic caliber of the school. Do you REALLY think that they would care to give someone more financial assistance so that he could in turn go play for ______ University that is nowhere in the same class as the Dukes, Davidsons, Princetons, UNC-Chapel Hills?

    The school thrives on its college admissions success. Not its basketball (though that also happens to be the best in the area as well).

  • dewright said,

    Don’t take my word for it:

    http://www.greensboroday.org/uploaded/documents/College_Guidance/Seniors/annual_report.pdf

  • GDS Grad said,

    E,

    100% of all GDS students go onto college
    You have to pass a standarized test to get into school
    — so yes they are a different school from the county public schools that have a 79.8% high school graduation rate … not that GDS is better than the county schools … but they all serve a purpose and a niche for every aspiring athlete, musician, actor, and student.
    GDS is not the perfect fit for everyone just like some public schools are not the perfect fit hence why Brandon Pennix at Dudley lives in Page’s district…Kevin Swinton played at Dudley and lived in Southeast’s district…etc.

    Why wouldn’t someone want to come play basketball at GDS? They will be surrounded by caring teachers, bright students, and play for a winning program that has won 4 Little Four’s in a row. If you couple that type of academic environment with great coaching at GDS (not only Coach Johnson – but his current assistants and former assistants – I do recall that the man the Page gym is named after coached at GDS for awhile after retiring from Page aka Mac Morris who is arguably the godfather of Guilford County basketball)

    If you are a parent you will want the best environment for your kid both athletically and academically!

  • Keeping It Real said,

    Come on now GDS Grad,
    Your comments are about to border on elitism. With all the fine education it sounds like you were afforded, it seems like you would understand that education doesn’t start in a school. Education starts at home.

    No need to demean the public schools. You make it sound like a good education (and sports) can’t be had at a public school. I personally believe the public schools mirror society as a whole. Have you ever considered some people would rather raise their kids to be able to deal with various situations. GDS is not the only path to the school of your choice in this nation.

    Does 100% graduation rate guarantee success in life (If I spent all that money, you better pass my kid :-)? We all know there are college grads struggling. In fact, a majority of college grads don’t end up in their field of study. Take it one step further, let me give you some successful people that didn’t even graduate from either college or high school:

    Daniel Abraham – Founder Slim Fast – Billionaire – No College

    Ben Affleck – Actor – College Drop out

    Paul Allen – Co-Founder Microsoft – Owner Trailblazers/Seattle Seahawks – College Dropout

    Wally “Famous” Amos – Multimillion Cookie Maker – High School dropout

    Humphrey Bogart, Mary J. Blige,etc. etc.

    In an industrial nation, one of the purposes of school was to have people prepared to work in factories and sit for hours(thus the rows of chairs in classes). Everyone doesn’t choose this path to success.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying by-passing the education system is the path to success. All I am saying is there is more ways to judge success around here than through your school (though I like your allegiance. Nice try).

    Just…

  • Keeping It Real said,

    Skeptical and GDS,
    You’ll are all up in kids personal business. From your post, you seem to come across as grown ups. Not sure why the need to post about families personal business like you know them personally.

    This is high school basketball. People have choices. Because they play high school basketball, doesn’t make their lives open for public forum discussion. Let it go!

    Your time has passed. Let the kids have their time.

  • GDS Grad said,

    Keeping it Real,

    The following lines in quotes was taken from my previous post…
    “not that GDS is better than the county schools … but they all serve a purpose and a niche for every aspiring athlete, musician, actor, and student.
    GDS is not the perfect fit for everyone just like some public schools are not the perfect fit ”

    Keeping it Real these are your comments…
    “Your comments are about to border on elitism.”
    “No need to demean the public schools. You make it sound like a good education (and sports) can’t be had at a public school. I personally believe the public schools mirror society as a whole. Have you ever considered some people would rather raise their kids to be able to deal with various situations. GDS is not the only path to the school of your choice in this nation.”

    I never once demeaned public schools in my previous post …all I did was state some simple facts on the academic difference between the 2. If you read my comments above in quotes and compare them to your comments in quotes below it is clear that my comments do not border on elitism. It is clear that I said GDS is not a good fit for everyone and is not necessarily better than the county schools.
    Keeping it Real… everyone knows / wants great public schools in your area both academically and athletically because it makes your county more prosperous as a whole.

    Keeping it Real I think you would agree with me on this… I used the Pennix page district Dudley player and Swinton Southeast district Dudley player example to say … that a kid and his family must make the school decision on what is the best for them.

    I hope that you have been keeping it real all morning

  • Keeping It Real said,

    Don’t be so sensitive Grad.

    Reading is fundamental. I did use the words “about to border on…” Even my non Ivy League training tells me I didn’t CALL you an elitist.

    When you compared graduation percentages, that comes close to the line.

    Throwing out 100% statics at a paid high school institution also doesn’t endear you to us common folk.

  • Keeping It Real said,

    BTW Almost Elitist,

    What did you mean by the comment “public schools in your area”?

    For all you know, I mostly likely am your neighbor.

    Now that is keeping it real this morning…

  • Hilarious said,

    LMAO KIR

    Lets meet out in the cul-de-sac tonight for a beer…say 9…haha…we can even invite GDS over from across the street…

  • Keeping It Real said,

    Hilarious,
    I couldn’t wait til 9 on that beer so I got started without you. Since I figured GDS would be a no show (ashamed of the neighbors), I figured I have a few more laughs at his expense.

    Two more points on your post.

    Comment 1.

    “You have to pass a standardized test to get in to school”

    You sure have a lot of reclassifications for having to take a test to get in. What did the test confirm? You need another year or two before going off to college? I guess if I had 6 years of high school, I’d be college ready too!

    Comment 2.

    “…CARING teachers, BRIGHT students…”

    Come on now. What are you implying. Public schools in my (excuse me, our) neighborhood don’t have caring teachers or bright students?

    If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, guess what, it is a duck!

    Elitist!

    I hope the true GDS admin and officials don’t mind us having a little fun at their expense but you really do need to check your Alum. I know they mean well but they need some more coaching on how to deal with us common folks.

    Hey hilarious, see you when I finish this next Bud.

  • Hilarious said,

    KIR – Didnt mean to stand you up…that GDS application took me longer than I thought…guess my Grimsley education doesnt hold up very well…

    In all seriousness, back to the point…I thoroughly enjoyed watching GDS play last week. And it has taken me a long time to accept/understand the quality and depth of their program, as I have always been partial to the Grimsley, Page, and Dudley type programs (and Smith too). However, the desire and determination, along with a dynamite gameplan, really was the difference. I dont think GDS’ talent was superior to the top 4 teams in the tourney…but their overall confidence in their coach’s gameplan makes them a hard to defeat.

    To address some of the comments about recruiting…dewright called someone ignorant in another post for their comments about recruiting, however, the rebuttal he used in quoting what appeared to be ‘Rule H” (?) for the NC Independent schools governing body still did not discount the possibility that a 19 year old senior could be playing his 6th Little Four tournament. Not even saying that this comes anywhere close to happening, but it is a possibility…and your quotation of the rule didnt refute the ‘ignorant’ poster’s point. Additionally, and I do not speak regarding GDS on this point, it is a pretty naive definition of ‘recruiting’ to say that anyone associated with an athletic program at a school is in violation for inquiring of an AAU athlete to attend that school. In an age when high school coaches have such close ties to AAU representatives, direct contact never even has to take place. Its as easy as an AAU coach saying, would you be interested in going to (fill in the blank) ? and the process starts….

    Anyway, not trying to bash you…just trying to, as my new drinking buddy says, keep it real. Sounds like you, dewright, are from Asheville way…looking forward to seeing you and the ‘Greenie nation’ go after goliath here in a few weeks.

    KIR, catch you next time…I will bring the cigars, you bring the Buds….

  • Basketball Fan said,

    I think posting inaccurate personal business of the players is foul. I have known Brandon Pennix since he was in the 7th grade. Just recently had the opportunity to talk to him @ the invitational. He lived just around the corner from me when I lived in the Dudley district. He went to Hairston middle which feeds Dudley. He was still living in the same place as of the end of last school year because I would talk to him as I would be picking up my child from daycare and he was getting off the school bus.

    So you might wanna use other examples.

  • Keeping It Real said,

    Strategy for a Beast Basketball SuperStar (Boys)
    (Don’t know girls rules well enough if it works for them)

    1. Gotta have a great birthdate. Ideally late October, November or December.
    (For those of you a little slow, that means snuggling up with the Mrs. January, February or March. Usually a nice Christmas present helps here. Just don’t make it too good or you will wind up with a September date which is disastrous!)

    2. Reclass in elementary school. Another year of ABC’s never hurt anybody.

    3. At 8th grade, go see the man (provided he wants you) and learn from the best.

    4. 9th and 10th grade go to one of the public school academies/IB. They’re all good academically. Tell the coach you played for the man. You should get 2 years of varsity.

    5. start of what should be the 11th, go explain to the man you recognize the err of your ways. They will accept you back provide you are willing to get the extra training you need.

    6. Do 10th, 11th and 12th and refine your game.

    This will allow 6 years of basketball. Not sure if any age issues at the top end in privates.

    Me, I messed up with the birthday part so I had to choose a different route (I try to blame the Mrs. but she dismisses my foolishness). But make no mistake, if I had the man child, I would consider.

    This won’t work for everyone and there are risk that rules could change during your master plan.

    I use some local references above but this applies statewide.

    So to all of you that have problems with families making decisions for their particular situation, everyone has choices and we do not live in a static society. People will always do what they believe is in the best interest of them and theirs and that is their right.

    So let’s stick to the X’s and O’s and the families will take care of the Johnny’s and Joe’s.

    I gave you this for free. Next time there may be a fee.

    Always remember…Don’t hate the player(s), hate the game!