Flyin to the Hoop returns to Trent Arena this weekend, Top talent on display


Flyin to the Hoop

It’s appropriate the Flyin to the Hoop basketball invitational has a flight reference in its title, because the event has taken off. FTTH tips-off its second season at Kettering Fairmont’s Trent Arena and seventh overall this weekend with a slate of 16 games featuring some of the top hoop talent in the country. Seven current NBAers have played in the event over the years. Who is the next one?

It’s appropriate the Flyin to the Hoop basketball invitational has a flight reference in its title, because the event has taken off.

FTTH tips-off its second season at Kettering Fairmont’s Trent Arena and seventh overall this weekend with a slate of 16 games featuring some of the top hoop talent in the country. Seven current NBAers have played in the event over the years. Who is the next one?

A unique invite, FTTH offers the rare mixture of Miami Valley, Ohio and national talent. Here Dayton-area powerhouses like Centerville, Alter, Wayne, Graham, C-J and host Fairmont compete amongst some of the country’s best preparatory, private and public schools. Ohio stalwarts Columbus Northland, Moeller and Garfield Heights are on the docket as well.

The basketball is second to none.

And that was the goal.

In January 2003 the first Flyin to the Hoop invitational was held with great success. Nationally acclaimed Oak Hill Academy (of Mouth of Wilson, Va.) played as did a bevy of individual talents. Our Savior New American won the initial tournament and three future NBAers made the 2003 FTTH all-tournament team: J.R. Smith (St. Benedict’s Prep, Newark, NJ), Von Wafer (Heritage Christian, Houston, TX) and Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding). Smith is a member of the Denver Nuggets, while Wafer is with the Portland Trailblazers.

In addition to those three, two additional NBAers also played in the inaugural 2003 event: Josh Boone (West Nottingham Academy, New Jersey Nets) and Marcus Williams (Oak Hill Academy, Golden State Warriors). NBDL player J.R. Pinnock (Coastal Christian) also performed.

Since that first impressionable year FTTH has continued to grow and offer great talent.

Other notable alumns include former Ohio State standouts Ivan Harris (Oak Hill Academy) and Daequan Cook (Dayton Dunbar). Cook is currently with the Miami Heat.

Over 50 current NCAA Division I players have appeared at FTTH and some collegiate rosters that sport FTTH alumni include Ohio State, Duke, Dayton, Illinois, California, Louisville, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Georgia, Temple, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Auburn, USC, George Washington, Missouri, South Carolina, Miami, Tennessee, Michigan State, Xavier, Notre Dame and Virginia.

This year FTTH looks to add to its legacy.

Again saddled with a standout line-up there is a great mixture of hometown teams, out-of-town talent and solid basketball.

Buckle up and get ready for take off.


Saturday, January 17, 2009
11:30 am: Thurgood Marshall (OH) vs. Morrow (GA)
1:15 pm: Martinsburg (WV) vs. Kettering Alter (OH)
3:00 pm: Ripley (WV) vs. Graham (OH)
4:45 pm: Findlay Prep (NV) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #5 vs. Bedford (OH)
6:30 pm: San Diego (CA) vs. Columbus Northland (OH) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #23
8:15 pm: Trotwood Madison (OH) vs. Montrose Christian (MD) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #10

Sunday, January 18, 2009
12:30 pm: Lakota East (OH) vs. Sidney (OH)
2:15 pm: Cleveland Heights (OH) vs. Kettering Fairmont (OH)
4:00 pm: Bedford (OH) vs. Cincinnati Moeller (OH)
5:45 pm: Garfield Heights (OH) vs. Findlay Prep (NV) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #5
7:30 pm: Montrose Christian (MD) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #10 vs. Centerville (OH)

Monday, January 19, 2009
12:30 pm: Dayton Christian (OH) vs. Martinsburg (WV)
2:15 pm: Cleveland Heights (OH) vs. San Diego (CA)
4:00 pm: Massanutten Military Academy (VA) vs. Chaminade Julienne (OH)
5:45 pm: Morrow (GA) vs. Springboro (OH)
7:30 pm: Findlay Prep (NV) ESPN RISE FAB 50 #5 vs. Wayne (OH)

* Tickets available at:


Head coach Joe Petrocelli is one of two coaches in Ohio history to have over 700 wins. He is the only head coach in Alter history and was inducted into the Ohio HS Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He’s led the Knights to eight state tournaments and three state titles. Alter was a regional finalist last season. Senior Ryan Siggins is the reigning GCL North POY.

Through seven games, Bedford was 3-4 with losses to solid programs Lakewood St. Edward, Cleveland Heights, Mentor and Euclid.

Head coach Jim Staley said before the season this was Centerville’s “most experienced” and “strongest team” team ever. Senior Matt Kavanaugh is headed to the University of Dayton and is ranked the No. 5 recruit in the state by Ohio High Magazine. Adam Replogle, an All-Ohio football player, is headed to Indiana on a football ride. Heading into the season, the Elks were 213-68 the last 12 years and looking for their fourth straight GWOC Central title.

The Eagles return several key players from last season’s GCL and D-II District championship team. C-J is be led by junior Ryan Bass, an All SW-Ohio and first team All-GCL selection, who scored 13 ppg a year ago. In addition, the Eagles return two other All-GCL selections in junior Joe Staley (first) and senior Kurt Hess (second). Juniro Jon Bibbs and senior Alex Kauth also saw considerable action a year ago.

Cleveland Heights
Senior Sir Christian Williams has committed to Rider, while senior Reginald Keely is ranked the No. 8 senior in Ohio by Ohio High Magazine. He has committed to Ohio University. Senior Caleb Hicks has committed to Walsh University.

Columbus Northland (ESPN RISE FAB 50 #23)
Junior Jared Sullinger is the No. 1 ranked junior in Ohio by Ohio High Magazine and has committed to Ohio State. Junior James “JD” Weatherspoon is committed to Xavier, while senior Javon Cornley is headed to Indian on a football scholarship.

Dayton Christian
Senior Aaron Deister is one of the top guards in the Dayton area. Through the first four games of 2008-09, Deister has scored 1,020 career points and is tied for third on the school’s all-time scoring list. Schools of interest include Cornell, Lafeyette, Harvard, Findlay, Walsh, Concordia and Masters College among others.

Findlay Prep, NV (ESPN RISE FAB 50 #5)
Findlay Prep has players from four countries: US, Puerto Rico, Canada and Nigeria. Senior Avery Bradley has committed to Texas, while senior D.J. Richardson has committed to Illinois. Senior Carlos Lopez has committed to UNLV.

Garfield Heights
The Bulldogs have five players who have committed to college: seniors Carl Jones (St. Joe’s), Roy Brown (College of Charleston), Andre Jackson (Berea University, KY), Mario Hines (Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne) and Fred Chatmon (College of Charleston).

Graham made the Division II state semifinals last year before losing to Toledo Libbey and Mr. Basketball winner William Buford (Ohio State). Senior Josh Schuler (North Dakota) is Graham’s all-time leading scorer, while senior Austin Jones is the program’s all-time leader in assists.

Kettering Fairmont
Through six games, the host Firebirds were 4-2 with their only losses coming to Centerville and Wayne. Senior Logan Rucker is the team’s leading scorer (17 ppg), while  junior Mark Shadowens is second (13.8 ppg).

Lakota East
Through eight games, East didn’t have one player averaging double figures. Instead the Thunderhawks had four players averaging between 9.9-7.8 points and had seven players averaging at least 12 minutes a game.

Martinsburg, WV
Martinsburg debuted at No. 2 in the West Virginia Class AAA (Big School) state poll on Jan. 5.

Masanutten Military Academy, VA
Senior Rashard McGill is committed to Coastal Carolina.

Moeller has won three Division I state titles since 1999.

Montrose Christian, MD (ESPN RISE FAB 50 #10)
Montrose Christian has a storied past. Some of its alumni include current NBAers Kevin Durant, Linas Kleiza and Damien Wilkins and former professionals Dennis Scott, George Lynch, Randolph Childress and Serge Zwikker. Justin Anderson is one of the country’s top freshman, while seniors Mouphtaou Yarou and Isaiah Armwood are both committed to Villanova.

Morrow, GA
Mustangs are always competitive in Georgia state tournament.

Ripley, WV
Senior Noah Fischer is a McDonald All–American nominee and is committed to Bucknell University. Sophomore Chase Fischer has verbaled to Marshall University.

San Diego, CA
San Diego is ranked nationally and junior Jeremy Tyler is committed to Louisville. Senior Terrannce Boyd is ranked among the ESPNU Top 100.

Through the first nine games this year, Yinger was the lone Yellow Jacket averaging double-figures (15.2 ppg), but Sidney had seven players averaging at least 6.2 points. Sidney was third in the GWOC in scoring (67.2 points) behind only Trotwood-Madison and Wayne.

Senior Bryce Drew was second team GWOC South last year, while Garrett was honorable mention. The duo is also the Panthers two leading scorers this year, respectively, with 13.7 and 13 points per game.

Thurgood Marshall
Junior Juwan Staten is ranked the No. 3 junior in Ohio by Ohio High Magazine. He has committed to Dayton.

The Rams are led by first year head coach Mark Baker, a Dunbar grad and former Ohio State standout.

The Warriors are powered by a couple sophomores – Markus Crider and Travis Trice – who have each received offers from Dayton, Cleveland State and Wright State.

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