2010 Pizza Hut Invitational Tournament News and Notes

Posted by Andy Durham on December 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm under High School | Comments are off for this article

35th Annual Pizza Hut Invitational

Presented by NewBridge Bank

Greensboro Coliseum Complex; December 27, 28 and 30, 2010

Tournament Facts

â–º Back to the Arena: Teams winning their first-round games in the 35th annual
Pizza Hut Invitational presented by New Bridge Bank will have a special opportunity on the tournament’s final day. The men’s and women’s championship and third-place games
will all be contested on the arena floor of the Greensboro Coliseum. Because
Christmas is on a Saturday this year, the tournament’s traditional dates would place
the first-round games on Sunday, Dec. 26, but the North Carolina High School
Athletic Association does not permit its schools to play on Sundays. Due to
Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center availability and the annual Southern
Scuffle College wrestling tournament on Dec. 29 and 30, the Pizza Hut Invitational
has an unusual schedule this year. All games on Dec. 26 and 27 will be played in
the coliseum’s Special Events Center as usual. The tournament will take a day off on
Dec. 29 and resume on Dec. 30 with the championship and third-place games on the
arena floor. The Dec. 30 consolation games will remain in the side of the Special
Events Center that is not used by the Southern Scuffle.

â–º Bill Lee Scholarship Changes: Greensboro Sports Council president Donald Moore
announced today that beginning this year, the Bill Lee Scholarship will double to
$2,000 per award, courtesy of the Greensboro Sports Council. Since its inception, 32
students have been awarded this scholarship which was established in 2001 in memory
of Bill Lee, a Greensboro native and resident who was a major supporter of local
sports. He was deeply involved with Greensboro’s minor league baseball efforts,
basketball and golf. The Greensboro Sports Council established the scholarship
following Lee’s death in 2001. Recipients are nominated by their schools, and the
Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships. Each nomination is considered
with the following criteria: 40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic. Four
student-athletes receive a scholarship each year.

► More than $1 Million Contributed to the Schools: Last year’s 34th annual Pizza
Hut Invitational allowed the event to pass an important milestone. What makes the
Pizza Hut Invitational unique is that 100 percent of the tournament proceeds is
donated to charity and the participating schools. Last year, the eight
participating schools each received approximately $10,000 meaning the tournament
donated some $80,000 to the schools. In the last 11 years, the Greensboro Sports
Council has now donated to $1,000,066 to the schools that participated in the

â–º Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the
Pizza Hut Invitational makes charitable contributions. This year, the tournament
will make a donation to the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina before
distributing the remaining dollars to the participating schools. Founded in 1902,
CHS has been serving children and families placing more than 14,500 children into
loving, adoptive homes. For more information, please visit www.chsnc.org. Past
tournament proceeds have been contributed to Greensboro Urban Ministries, the
American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer
Test, the Eastern Guilford High School Fund, the Joey Cheek Fund, North Carolina
State Games and the Girls and Boys Club.

â–º Honorary Chairmen: Greensboro Sports Commission Vice President Demp Bradford is
this year’s honorary chairman. Bradford is an integral part of every aspect of the
Pizza Hut Invitational having a hand in everything from team seedings to tournament
program production. Pizza Hut Invitational leadership works on a two-year rotation
with each tournament chair serving as an assistant one year and the lead the next.
While Greensboro Sports Council members rotate on and off the committee, Bradford
works with the tournament every year providing consistent leadership and ensuring
the professional implementation of this high school basketball holiday classic.

â–º The Tournament: The Pizza Hut Invitational was founded in 1976. At that time,
the Big Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill
and Wake Forest, competed in the Big Four Tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Pizza Hut Invitational was created to mirror the tournament that showcased North
Carolina’s ACC teams and raise funds for the participating high schools’ athletic
programs. In 1978, the tournament expanded to eight teams with Ragsdale, High Point
Andrews, High Point Central and Thomasville High School joining the original four.
The next two years, in 1979 and ’80, the tournament returned to its original four
schools before expanding to eight teams permanently in 1981. The Pizza Hut
Invitational is now widely considered the most successful holiday basketball
tournament in North Carolina.

► 2009 Tournament: In last year’s Pizza Hut Invitational, Grimsley High School won
the men’s tournament for the first time since 1997. The Whirlies defeated Northern
Guilford 65-56 to win the tournament for the sixth time. Smith High School won the
women’s tournament for the first time since 1999 when they defeated Page High School
48-39. It was Smith’s third tournament championship.

► Amazing Run: Before losing in last year’s men’s semifinals, Greensboro Day
School won 17 consecutive Pizza Hut Invitational games including four consecutive
championships in 2005 – ’08. Greensboro Day is the only men’s team to win four
consecutive titles. The Page High School women won four straight in 1988 – ‘92 and
the Western Guilford High School women did it 1992-‘94.

► Women’s Stats: The Page Pirates have won more women’s tournaments than any other
school with 10 titles. The Lady Pirates have played for the championship 14 times,
also more than any other team.

â–  Championships â–  Title Game Appearances

â–  Page High School – 10 â–  Page High School
– 15

â–  Grimsley High School – 5 â–  Dudley High School
– 9

â–  Western Guilford – 4 â–  Smith High School
– 8

â–  Northeast Guilford – 3 â–  Grimsley High School
– 7

â–  Smith High School – 3 â–  Western Guilford
– 6

â–  Northwest Guilford – 2 â–  Northeast Guilford
– 5

â–  Dudley High School – 1 â–  Northwest Guilford
– 5

â–  Ragsdale High School – 1 â–  Eastern
Guilford – 2

â–  Ragsdale High School -1

► Men’s Stats: Dudley High School has won more men’s championships than any other

taking top honors 10 times. The Panthers have played for the championship in 19 of
the 34 previous Pizza Hut Invitational title games.

â–  Championships â–  Title Game Appearances

â–  Dudley High School – 10 â–  Dudley High School
– 19

â–  Greensboro Day – 9 â–  Greensboro Day School
– 13

â–  Page High School – 7 â–  Grimsley High School
– 13

â–  Grimsley High School – 6 â–  Page High School
– 10

â–  Smith High School – 2 â–  Smith High School
– 7

â–  Eastern Guilford – 1

â–  Southeast Guilford – 1

â–  Southwest Guilford – 1

â–  Northeast Guilford – 1




â–  Northern Guilford – 1

â–º Overtime Championships: The Pizza Hut Invitational championship game has gone to
overtime twice, and both times, it was a Dudley – Greensboro Day title tilt. In
1987, Greensboro Day beat Dudley 57-55 in Greensboro Day’s first Pizza Hut
Invitational appearance. In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the
Bengals 66-63.

â–º Sponsorship: Pizza Hut Invitational revenue comes from ticket sales and
sponsorships. The Greensboro Sports Council is very active in raising funds for the
tournament, and for the seventh consecutive year, participating schools are sharing
in the sponsorship efforts. Each school is soliciting a minimum of $1,500 in
sponsorship. Pizza Hut Invitational sponsorship is among the most economical sports
marketing opportunities available to local companies.

â–º 2010 Participating Schools: Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School,
Northeast Guilford, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Smith
High School and Ragsdale High School.

â–º Tickets: Pizza Hut Invitational tickets are available through the participating
schools or at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office. Tournament books containing
tickets for all games are $15. Single-session tickets are $7 for the opening and
semi-final rounds and $10 for championship day. Single session tickets are only
available at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center box office.

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