Goodman as Gold with Pizza Hut Invitational information

Reminder from Rob Goodman, 3G Sports…..

The tournament gets started on Thursday January 1 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center and we have:

► New Name: With the 33rd renewal of Greensboro’s premier high school basketball tournament comes the next chapter of the tournament’s rich history. The Little 4 is now the Pizza Hut Invitational. When the tournament began thirty two years ago, it was a four-team affair involving teams from Greensboro’s four public high schools. Through three decades of evolution, the event has become a true invitational tournament with the possibility of teams changing on an annual basis. 2007 participants Dudley and Southwest Guilford High Schools will not participate in the 2008 tournament as Northern Guilford and Ragsdale High Schools round out this year’s field.(#4 Page versus #5 Grimsley boys, in round one at 4pm, should be HUGE.)

► Unusual Dates: The 2008 Pizza Hut Invitational will actually be contested in 2009 due to the way the calendar falls this year. Since Christmas was on a Thursday, the tournament’s traditional dates would have placed the championship round on Sunday, Dec. 28, 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, the next window for the tournament now is Jan. 1-3, 2009. A similar set of circumstances will affect the 2009 tournament, which will be played in January, 2010.

► 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. The Pizza Hut Invitational is now widely considered the most successful holiday basketball tournament in North Carolina.

(Can you imagine if they would have been able to keep that BIG FOUR college tournament going???? What if they ran them both at the same time, Pizza Hut Invitational in the Special Events Center and the BIG FOUR on the Coliseum main floor????? How much could we charge for that ticket?????)

â–º Major Fundraiser: Schools in Guilford County have received more than $818,000 in Pizza Hut Invitational proceeds from the Greensboro Sports Council in the last nine years. Following the 2007 tournament, $83,000 was distributed to the participating schools from the Pizza Hut Invitational. This Greensboro holiday tournament donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the participating schools and other local charitable causes every year.

â–º Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the Pizza Hut Invitational makes other charitable contributions. Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to 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.(Excellent causes and let’s hear it again, for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs.)

*****The Pizza Hut Invitational is just two days away and from what I’m hearing, the kids and the coaches can’t wait to get started. The teams will have a shoot-around at the Coliseum on Wednesday and a walk-through on Thursday morning.*****

Thanks to Rob Goodman at 3G Sports for all the info on the tournament.