2016 National High School Hoops Festival Preview

Five-star Mohamed Bamba is one of the few top recruits on display at the Hoops Festival. (Photo Courtesy: Scout)
Five-star Mohamed Bamba is one of the few top recruits on display at the Hoops Festival. (Photo Courtesy: Scout)

This weekend, some of the nation’s top teams and players will gather at DeMatha Catholic High School for the 10th annual National High School Hoops Festival. The event is one of the biggest high school basketball showcases in the country.

Over the years, the Hoops Festival has played host to numerous college and NBA stars. This years event is no different. The players, who will be on display Saturday and Sunday have bright college and pro futures ahead of them. That’s why you should expect a good amount of college recruits making their way to Hyattsville, Maryland.

To get you ready for the Hoops Festival, here is a preview of all the action.




The Saturday night games are two matchups to keep your eye on. Paul VI (VA) will face off against Pebblebrook (GA). What makes this game interesting is the point guard battle between Pebblebrook’s Collin Sexton and Paul VI’s Aaron Thompson.

Sexton, who took the nation by storm over the summer, is arguably one of the top scorers in the nation. The Alabama commit went from being unranked to a top 10 player in the 2017 class. Draft Express has Sexton as the No. 7 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Then there is Pittsburgh signee Aaron Thompson, who is known for his defense and creating plays for his teammates. Forward Brandon Slater and sophomore guard Anthony Harris are two more players, who can make a solid impact for the Panthers.

DeMatha will wrap up the night against Wheeler (GA). Both teams is ranked in the USA Today Top 25 Rankings. The Stags sit at No. 12, while Wheeler is ranked No. 17. Two players two keep a close eye on is DeMatha’s D.J. Harvey and Wheeler’s E.J. Montgomery.

Harvey already committed to Notre Dame and is a top 50 player in the 2017 class. Auburn commit Montgomery is rated a five-star and ranked the No. 12 player in the 2018 class.

Nate Watson and Bishop O’Connell will face their biggest test of the season as they will go up against IMG Academy (FL), who is ranked No. 4 in the nation. The Knights will have to deal with point guard Trevon DuVal, Silvio De Sousa, Terps commit Bruno Fernando, and Emmitt Williams.

With the help of Hamidou Diallo and Eric Ayala, Putnam Science Academy will try to pull off an upset against Gray Collegiate on Sunday. Gray Collegiate has a tough schedule for this weekend as they will play IMG Academy on Saturday.

Westtown (PA), who’s ranked No. 8 in the country, will take on Rock Creek Christian Academy (MD). This game will give fans a chance to get a look at five-star power forward Mohamed Bamba. The Harlem native is ranked the No. 3 player in the nation by 247sports and predicted to be the second pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by Draft Express.

Maryland’s top player Immanuel Quickly and Oak Hill transfer Montez Mathis will look to help John Caroll beat Paul VI in the last game of the Hoops Festival.

Players to keep an eye on 

D.J. Harvey, DeMatha

Hamidou Diallo, Putnam Science

Mohamed Bamba, Westtown

Collin Sexton, Pebblebrook

Trevon DuVal, IMG Academy

Immanuel Quickley, John Carroll

E.J. Montgomery, Wheeler

Eric Ayala, Putnam Science

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About Ryan McFadden 515 Articles
Ryan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Inside The Locker Room. He graduated from Iona College in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Journalism, and he is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the University of Maryland in College Park.

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