The nation’s top basketball prospects will once again gather to play at the historic La Porte Civic Auditorium this January, according to La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody.
The La Porte Invitational returns for its third year Thursday, Jan. 4 through Saturday, Jan. 6 at the Civic. This three-day, nationally televised basketball showcase will feature 11 of the best high school programs in the nation, with over 20 of ESPN’s top-ranked recruits. With its old-school charm and classic “Hoosiers” feel, Dermody said there’s no better stage than the Civic to watch the NCAA and NBA talent of tomorrow.
“The La Porte Invitational brings together some of the best high school basketball this country has to offer,” Dermody said. “A handful of young men who played in the Civic gym during the first two years of this event are now playing in the NBA. I’m not sure where else you can witness this sort of talent develop and unfold. Basketball of this caliber is hard to come by, and watching it in a building as historic as our Civic Auditorium is the icing on the cake.”
The games will once again be broadcast and streamed live across the country, including matchups featuring local powerhouse La Lumiere. As a preview of what can be expected at this year’s invitational, the Lakers will host an open practice at the Civic at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9. La Lumiere Head Coach Patrick Holmes said members of the public are invited to observe the practice and meet the team ahead of January’s showcase.
“We would love to invite everyone out to see our team practice and then get a chance to meet our team, so that you know who you’re cheering for in January during the La Porte Invitational,” Holmes said. “We have a team of high character, hard working, and talented young men who can’t wait for their opportunity to play in the Civic Auditorium in front of a sellout crowd. We are proud to not only represent La Lumiere but also La Porte when we are on the national stage, and want to make sure that we bring that back to the community to celebrate.”
La Lumiere has been ranked in the preseason polls nationally as highly as 4th, and features a talented group of highly regarded juniors, with 6-foot-6 guard Jalen Haralson (the top in-state prospect), 6-4 guard Jerry Easter, 6-5 guard Darius Adams, 6-7 guard Chuck Love, and 6-4 wing Melvin Bell all ranked as consensus top 100 players. Senior guard Ace Buckner recently committed to Clemson University. As one of the blue bloods of high school basketball, Holmes said they’re known for a physical, championship worthy brand of basketball on the defensive end of the floor, and a high-powered offensive system.
A full game schedule and ticketing information is available online at laportecivicauditorium.com.