41st Annual HAECO Invitational Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center; December 26-28, 2016 Pre-Tournament Notes
HAECO Americas, Inc. Extends Partnership: During its November meeting, the Greensboro Sports Council announced that HAECO Americas, Inc. signed a five-year partnership extension with the HAECO Invitational. The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company headquartered at Piedmont Triad International Airport will be the tournament’s title sponsor at least through the 2020 event. With the HAECO extension, the tournament will no longer offer a presenting sponsorship.
New Role for NewBridge Bank: NewBridge Bank, the tournament’s presenting sponsor since 2009, will remain an important part of the HAECO Invitational through its new role. Companies and individuals purchasing any of the tournament’s partnership packages will enjoy courtside hospitality in the NewBridge Bank Hangar located in the North end zone of court one. In addition, NewBridge Bank is the presenting sponsor of today’s HAECO Invitational pairings lunch.
On to Decade No. 5: More than four decades ago, seven Greensboro Sports Council members envisioned a high school basketball tournament that would raise funds for its participating schools. Jim Betts, Lem Cox, Bradley Faircloth, Stanley Frank, Doug Galyon, Fred Joseph and E. Kemp Reece acted on their vision and created the Little 4. After celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, the HAECO Invitational has set sail on its fifth decade.
Follow the HAECO: The HAECO Invitational is on social media – follow the HAECO on Twitter: @HAECOInv and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HAECOInvitational.
Championship Teams Celebrate at HAECO: Following this year’s HAECO Invitational, the championship teams will be invited to a victory celebration on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at HAECO Americas at Piedmont Triad International Airport. The event will include a tour of the HAECO facility.
Contributions to the Schools: Many things make the HAECO Invitational an exceptional high school basketball tournament, but what makes the HAECO Invitational unique is that tournament proceeds are donated to charity and the participating schools. Last year, the eight participating schools each received $14,000 meaning the tournament donated $112,000 to the schools. In recent years, the Greensboro Sports Council made the following donations to the HAECO Invitational participating schools following that year’s tournament: 2008: $96,000, 2009: $80,000, 2010: $86,000, 2011: $100,000, 2012: $108,000, 2013: $112,000, 2014: $112,000, 2015: $112,000.
Sponsors Help with Advertising: Several HAECO Invitational sponsors are helping advertise the tournament through their in-kind sponsorships. Fairway Outdoor Advertising is once again providing digital billboards showcasing the tournament. The Greensboro News & Record, WFMY News 2, 98.7 Simon, 102 Jamz, 97.1, QMG and 93.1 The Wolf are advertising the tournament as in-kind sponsors.
Sponsorship: HAECO Invitational revenue comes from ticket sales and sponsorships; sales success contributes directly to how much money is donated to charities and the participating schools each year. The Greensboro Sports Council is very active in raising funds for the tournament, but for more than a decade, participating schools have shared in the sponsorship sales efforts. Each school is soliciting a minimum of $1,500 in sponsorship. HAECO Invitational sponsorship is among the most economical sports marketing opportunities available to Piedmont Triad companies.
Charity: In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the HAECO Invitational makes charitable contributions. This year, the HAECO Invitational will make a donation to the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Greensboro in honor of this year’s outgoing tournament chair, Val Edson. Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to Greensboro Urban Ministries, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test, the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, the Bryan Family YMCA, the Children’s Home Society, the Eastern Guilford High School Fund, the Joey Cheek Fund, North Carolina State Games, the Girls and Boys Club, the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s ‘Learn to Swim’ program, The First Tee of the Triad and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Bill Lee Scholarship: The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants each year. Since its inception in 2001, 65 high school seniors have now been awarded this scholarship which was established 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.
Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout: The Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout, a halftime
basketball shooting contest, returns to the HAECO Invitational this year. The Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout will be conducted during each tournament game except for the two championship contests. During halftime, a maximum of 50 people may purchase a Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout ticket for $1 for one chance to shoot a free throw. Those that make the shot will advance to the next round until one shooter remains on each end. Those two shooters will shoot again to determine a winner for that game who earns a Steak ‘N Shake gift certificate for an order of Shooters (mini cheeseburgers) and a HAECO Invitational T-Shirt. Winners from individual games do not advance to a winner’s competition; each halftime features its own complete competition.
The Tournament: The HAECO Invitational was founded in 1976 as the Little 4. At that time, the Big Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, competed in the Big 4 Tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum. The HAECO 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 representing schools in Guilford County permanently in 1981. The women’s side of the tournament began in 1980. The HAECO Invitational is now widely considered the most successful holiday basketball tournament in North Carolina. For a more complete look at tournament history, please visit http://www.haecoinvitational.com/history-results/.
2015 Tournament Recap: Last year, the Greensboro Day School men made tournament history becoming the first team to win five-consecutive tournaments. The top-seeded Bengals defeated Smith High School, Northern Guilford and Northwest Guilford on the way to coach Freddy Johnson’s record 14th men’s title. On the women’s side, the Northwest Guilford Vikings successfully defended their 2014 title defeating Grimsley, Dudley and Page High Schools on their way to their fifth tournament title.
The Greensboro Day School men won their fifth-consecutive tournament championship in 2015 and made tournament history along the way. No other team has ever won five-consecutive titles. Going back to their 2011 title, the Bengals have now won 15 consecutive HAECO Invitational games.
Greensboro Day men’s coach Freddy Johnson is the only coach in tournament history that has won five-consecutive HAECO Invitational titles. His five-year run follows the four-year run he enjoyed during 2005-08. Johnson has 14 HAECO Invitational titles – more than any other coach in tournament history. Johnson, the winningest coach in North Carolina High School basketball history, was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.
The Greensboro Day School men have enjoyed an impressive presence in the HAECO Invitational championship game. The Bengals have played for the title in nine of the last 11 years and 17 of the last 24 years.
The Page High School women (1988 – ’92), the Western Guilford women (1992-’95) and the Greensboro Day School men (2005-’08) are the only teams that have won four consecutive HAECO Invitational titles.
The Greensboro Day School men lead the overall HAECO Invitational history with 14 tournament championships; Page High School leads the women’s tournament history with 13 tournament titles.
Page High School coaches Luke McKeel and Deborah Jones have accounted for 11 of the Pirates’ 13 HAECO Invitational women’s championships. McKeel won seven of the first nine tournaments, and Jones has won four including three straight from 2011-13. Former Pirate coach Kathy Turner won the other two Lady Pirate titles.
Either Page High School or Northwest Guilford has played in every women’s championship game since 2003. Page has played in five of the last seven, and Northwest has played in 10 of the last 13. In addition, either the Lady Vikings or the Lady Pirates have won each of the last six tournaments.
The Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings have played in the championship game in 10 of the last 14 years winning five times. Coach Darlene Joyner joined the Vikings in 2002, and all of their championship-game appearances have come under Coach Joyner meaning she has made 10 appearances in the championship game in her 14 seasons as the Vikings’ coach. Earlier this year, Joyner was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame.
Page star Paris Kea became the first three-time MVP in tournament history in 2014. Four players have done it twice, but the former Page Pirate is the first to do it three times.
Women’s Stats: The Page Pirates have won more women’s tournaments than any other school with 13 titles. The Lady Pirates have played for the championship 18 times, also more than any other team. The Page women have won 72 percent of the championship games in which they have played.
Championships Title Game Appearances Page High School - 13 Page High School - 18 Grimsley High School - 5 Northwest Guilford - 10 Northwest Guilford - 5 Smith High School - 10 Western Guilford - 4 Dudley High School - 9 Smith High School - 3 Grimsley High School - 7 Northeast Guilford - 3 Western Guilford - 6 Dudley High School - 1 Northeast Guilford - 5 Ragsdale High School - 1 Eastern Guilford - 2 Northern Guilford - 1 Ragsdale High School - 1
Men’s Stats: Greensboro Day School has won more men’s championships than any other school taking top honors 14 times. The Bengals have won 78 percent of their title game appearances, but Dudley High School holds the mark for the most title-game appearances with 19.
Championships Title Game Appearances Greensboro Day - 14 Dudley High School - 19 Dudley High School - 10 Greensboro Day School - 18 Page High School - 8 Grimsley High School - 13 Grimsley High School - 6 Page High School - 13 Smith High School - 2 Smith High School - 7 Northern Guilford - 2 Northeast Guilford - 2 Northwest Guilford - 2 Northern Guilford - 1 Southeast Guilford - 1 Southwest Guilford - 1 Eastern Guilford - 1 Ragsdale High School - 1
Women's Wins by Coach: Men's Wins by Coach: - Luke McKeel (PHS) 7 - Freddy Johnson (GDS) 14 - Darlene Joyner (NWG) 5 - Mac Morris (PHS) 7 - Deborah Jones (PHS) 4 - David Price (DHS) 7 - Ginger Moore (WG 4 - Phil Weaver (GHS) 4 - Phil Weaver (GHS) 3 - Bill Chambers (DHS) 1 - Mike Bradley (NEG) 2 - Jack Chatham (DHS) 1 - Rick Hartsook (GHS) 2 - Darren Corbett (GHS) 1 - Kathy Turner (PHS) 2 - Steve Hankins (DHS) 1 - Kris Britton (DHS) 1 - Robert Kent (PHS) 1 - Hank Bullard (SHS) 1 - Reggie Peace (SHS) 1 - Jerry Fuqua (RHS) 1 - Art Wade (SHS) 1 - Crystal Hazelwood (NEG) 1 - Bill Walton (GHS) 1 - Ashton Jeffries (SHS) 1 - Lou Roshelli (SHS) 1
Winning Coaches: Of the 16 men and women coaching in this year’s HAECO Invitational, only four have won the tournament. Freddy Johnson won all 14 of his HAECO Invitational titles at Greensboro Day; Bill Chambers, who won the tournament in 1983 while coaching at Dudley, is now the Northern Guilford coach. On the women’s side, only Darlene Joyner (NW Guilford) and Deborah Jones (Page) have won the HAECO Invitational.
New Coaches: The HAECO Invitational welcomes three coaches making their first HAECO Invitational appearances: Ben Bradford (Ragsdale women), Kenneth Ferguson (Dudley men) and Andre Miller (Greensboro Day School women).
Overtime Championships: The HAECO Invitational championship game has gone to overtime only three times, and all three have involved the Greensboro Day School Bengals. The first two were between Dudley and Greensboro Day. In 1987, Greensboro Day beat Dudley 57-55 in Greensboro Day’s first HAECO Invitational appearance. In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the Bengals 66-63. In 2013, the title tilt included the Bengals and Page High School; the second-seeded Bengals upset the top-seeded Pirates 53-51 after one extra stanza.
2016 Participating Schools: Dudley High School, Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Ragsdale High School and Smith High School.
Tickets: HAECO 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.
2016 Women’s Seeds
1. Northern Guilford
2. Northwest Guilford
3. Page High School
4. Dudley High School
5. Smith High School
6. Ragsdale High School
7. Greensboro Day School
8. Grimsley High School
2016 Men’s Seeds
1. Greensboro Day School
2. Northwest Guilford
3. Smith High School
4. Dudley High School
5. Page High School
6. Northern Guilford
7. Ragsdale High School
8. Grimsley High School
The HAECO Invitational is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight high schools located in Guilford County. The tournament is played at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council. For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.