The holidays will find a handful of DeKalb teams hooping it up in holiday tourneys here and elsewhere, thus providing them with a chance to take stock of themselves as they compete against top tier state from around the state and nation.
For those homebound during Christmas vacation, the time off can used to address early season struggles or fortify fast starts.
n Nike Invitational
The 2012-13 second annual Nike Invitational tips off today at Columbia High School.
The tourney brings together 16 top-shelf teams, including five state championship clubs from four different states.
Tucker is set to take the floor against Norland (Fla.) at 5:30 p.m. today in a rematch of their second round clash a year ago.
The perennial postseason-bound Tigers came out on top of that matchup by a score of 40-37 and will look to do the same this time around.
Leave it to always candid Tucker coach James Hartry to keep his team’s presence in the hot-ticket, ultra-competitive tourney in perspective.
“You’ve got to be in this kind of atmosphere to be able to compete in state playoff basketball,” said Hartry, who has guided the Tigers to a GHSA crown.
Tucker’s roster of headliners, including Texas A&M-bound small forward Davonte Fitzgerald are looking to fare well against another loaded field. The Tigers went on to lose in last year’s Nike semifinals to host and eventual Class AAA titlist Columbia.
Beside the aforementioned, other Peach State scheduled to participate include Norcross, Jonesboro, Greater Atlanta Christian, Alcovy and Crisp County. State champs hailing from Mississippi and Alabama will also be playing.
“I do these Christmas tournaments because you get to play against the kind of folks that are here … you could end up in the loser’s bracket and you’ll still only see good teams,” Hartry said. “My team is bound to grow from this experience … and that’s exactly what I want for them.”