Valley hosting nation's top basketball programs at Nike Tournament of Champions

December 20, 2023 by Ben Stapley, AZPreps365

McClintock coach Dave Williams talks to his team before a Tuesday night match up at the Nike Tournament of Champions at Legacy Park. Photo by Ben Stapley

One of the nation’s most prestigious tournaments in all of girls basketball is underway this week here in the Valley.

The Nike Tournament of Champions began Monday at the Legacy Sports Complex in southeast Mesa. 112 teams from around the country and beyond are participating. 23 schools are represented from Arizona, along with two Australian teams and a team from Canada (Lincoln Prep), giving the tournament a truly international flavor.

The tournament is also fiercely contested on a national level, with a handful of the’s top ranked teams in the country, including five of the top eight teams entering this week: No. 2 Montverde Academy (FL), No. 3 Archbishop Mitty (CA), No. 4 IMG Academy (FL), No. 7 Sacred Heart (KY), and eighth ranked Bishop McNamara (MD).

One of the best performances so far from an Arizona standpoint was Xavier Prep knocking off No. 7 Sacred Heart, 58-55. Senior Sarah Miller dropped 29 points to help the Gators–ranked No. 1 in Arizona–secure the victory.

For most local schools, the opportunity to compete against the top basketball programs in the country in their own backyard is advantageous for the remainder of the season. 

“We take pride in scheduling one of the toughest schedules year in and year out,” Perry coach Andrew Curtis said Tuesday night after his team beat Salesian High out of Richmond, California.

“This Nike tournament always adds to that level. We want to be battle tested come playoff time. Our out of state schedule and the Nike TOC always do that.”

Novelle McQuiston led Perry in victory with 13 points and Sage Henry added nine for the Pumas during Tuesday’s victory.

The tournament concludes Thursday evening.


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