Nearly 100 schools. Five sites. Two weekends. The Mavs Fall Classic High School tournament is back


The Dallas Mavericks will host nearly 100 high school basketball teams in two tournaments this month when the Mavs Fall Classic returns to town.

The third annual Mavs Fall Classic Varsity Girls High School tournament kicks off the competition on Thursday, November 11, with 48 teams featured throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile, competition for the Mavs Fall Classic Varsity Boys High School tournament kicks off Thanksgiving week, November 22-23. This tournament will set the stage for 48 teams who will battle it out on hardwood in hopes of winning the Mavs Fall Classic Championship title.

The Mavericks also signed a deal with a mega sports restaurant Wild buffalo wings to serve as the main sponsor for both tournaments.

The Mavs are one of the few teams in the NBA to host a high school tournament for boys and girls. Last year the pandemic forced a hiatus from gaming, but the Mavs Fall Classic is back bigger and brighter in 2021.

“The tournament is such an important part of high school basketball,” said Mavs Fall Classic tournament director Brad Freeman. “So not being able to host tournaments in Texas last season was tough for the schools. We are excited to be part of the return to normal this season for these players and coaches. “

This year’s event is the biggest tournament in Mavs Fall Classic history. When the Mavs started the tournament in 2018, the goal was to have three divisions of 16 teams each for boys and girls. That goal has now turned into a total of 48 girls ‘teams and 48 boys’ teams.

In the past, NBA teams weren’t allowed to get involved in the high school space, but the league reversed that decision and the Mavericks were excited to bring the knowledge of the NBA to high school and youth. .

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what these young players need to do to level up,” said Freeman, who once coached NBA superstar Julius Randle in high school and won a few championships before arriving. to Mavs.

“We want to help them with the right message of good nutrition, rest, mindset, injury prevention, etc.,” he continued.

NEW ADDITIONS TO MAVS FALL CLASSIC

This year, the Mavs will present the tournament from a new perspective by hosting a sports symposium for athletes and coaches on Saturday morning. Nico Harrison will headline the event. He is the new general manager and president of basketball operations for the Mavericks. He also has two daughters who are currently playing sports and he understands the mindset of athletes at all levels.

Many role models will also be on hand to help encourage and inspire the high school girls. The Mavericks’ staff are now 50 percent women and minorities and many of these people are on the staff who help run the tournament.

ToliverKristi Toliver, WNBA superstar and current Dallas Mavericks assistant coach, will also headline the sports symposium on Saturday morning and speak to athletes about her basketball career.

“Our goal is to make an impact in the lives of players and coaches,” said Freeman. “There will always be teams that lose and teams that win in our tournament. But what can we do to help all of the players in our tournament succeed beyond the court? We’ve added an event this year where all the teams will come together at the same time and hear from our Dallas Mavericks leaders and coaches. “

It’s no secret that Texas is the epicenter of high school hoops, and the state often represents countless athletes moving up to the college and pro ranks.

Four years ago, the Dallas Mavericks and Mavs Academy explored various opportunities to invest in the future of high school players. Thus, the Mavs Fall Classic was born.

The organization already runs various internships, camps, and combines throughout the year to help student-athletes grow and flourish. But the high school tournament is an entirely different beast due to the amount of production and fanfare that is required to put on a tournament of this magnitude.

Freeman will rely on all Mavs Academy staff, Mavs employees and tournament volunteers to help organize the event.

Location is another unique piece of the puzzle.

Mavs Fall Classic Championship games take place at the Comerica Center, home of the NBA G League Legends. The facility also houses the executive offices and the NHL Dallas Stars training center. So preparing for the final rounds for the high school teams is a big undertaking, but well worth it for the teams that advance to the final rounds.

The other games will take place at Frisco ISD High Schools, including Centennial, Heritage, Liberty, and Independence.

“I HAVE THE BEAUTY OF TRAINING AND TEACHING WITH GOOD PEOPLE”

Freeman is the director of the Mavs Fall Classic and is also the senior director of the Dallas Mavericks, Mavs Academy and Mavs Gaming. Prior to his arrival in the NBA, he had spent the previous decades working in all levels of sports.

He received his Masters of Science in Education with a concentration in Sports Management from Baylor University. From there he began teaching and coaching in the public school system.

“I had the chance to coach and teach with great people in my early years,” said Freeman. “I have coached just about every sport, from middle school to high school. My last job at a public school was to be the head basketball coach for the boys at Allen High School. From there, I accepted the position of Head Boys Basketball Coach at Prestonwood Christian Academy, where we were fortunate enough to be on the national radar and compete in some of the best tournaments in the world. country high school basketball.

Prestonwood rose under Freeman’s tutelage and became one of the top private school basketball programs in the state. His teams have made three consecutive TAPPS 5A State Finals and the Lions have made the playoffs every season while he was there.

During that stretch, he amassed an incredible 71-9 record in district play. In the 2009-10 season, he led Prestonwood to his first TAPPS 5A State Championship in program history.

He also coached the NBA All-Star Julius Randle, who went on to become an NBA All-Star first team and last year won the NBA Most Improved Player award.

While at Prestonwood, Freeman also ran camps and leagues for Prestonwood Sports Organization. In this role, he began working with the Dallas Mavericks by organizing Hoop Camps at the facility.

“I felt like I was ending my coaching career and having a state championship in public and private schools, a good friend asked me to join him in the college ranks. I was able to continue to lead camps and leagues while being an assistant coach at Dallas Christian College. In my second year there, we won a national championship. Although I really enjoyed this experience, it felt like my next step was administration rather than training. This is what led to my work with the Mavericks.

Now Freeman and the rest of the Mavericks’ staff will look to host two fantastic tournaments in November and watch the next generation of high school stars dazzle under Frisco’s bright lights.

They will have this chance from Friday.

To learn more about the Mavs Fall Classic, click here.


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