Isaiah Stewart, Trendon Watford & Keion Brooks Highlight Hoop City Classic

South Dakota becomes the capital of the prep basketball world when the nation’s No. 1-ranked team and a collection of top-flight college prospects compete in the 2018 Hoop City Classic. 

USA Today top-ranked La Lumiere (La Porte, Indiana) opens the stacked Hoop City Classic on Friday against perennial power Findlay Prep out of Henderson, Nevada. The marquee matchup includes two of the Classic’s elite recruits: La Lumiere center Isaiah Stewart and power forward Keion Brooks, ranked No. 5 and 34 respectively in ESPN.com’s Top 100 for the class of 2019; and Findlay Prep wing P.J. Fuller, a TCU commit and the No. 68-ranked recruit of 2019, per ESPN.

La Lumiere sweeps into South Dakota after a championship showing in Hawaii, which included a win over formerly top-ranked Montverde Academy out of Florida. Coupled with a title win over Oak Ridge of Florida, La Lumiere said mele kalikimaka to No. 1. 

Watch the 2018 Hoop City Classic LIVE on FloHoops!

Findlay Prep, which sat in the top 10 much of last season, is currently unranked. However, the Fuller-led Pilots can make a statement with a win over La Lumiere. 

Aiming to play spoiler on Saturday, local teams O’Gorman (Sioux Falls) and Aberdeen Central will get a shot at one of either La Lumiere or Findlay Prep. The winners of each game in the First Dakota National Bank Tournament side of the Hoop City Classic meet for the bracket championship. O’Gorman opened the 2018-19 season ranked No. 2 in the Class AA Argus Leader poll. 

The trio of blue-chippers headlining Friday’s La Lumiere-Findlay Prep main event are not the only top prospects in the field. Also on Friday, De La Salle (Minneapolis) and No. 90-ranked Tyrell Terry faces Mountain Brook (Alabama) with No. 24 Trendon Watford. 

Five-star Watford checks in sixth nationally among all power forwards. De La Salle’s Terry, a 4-star commit to Stanford, is the nation’s No. 12 point guard, per ESPN. The pitting of teams built around a post star and one on the perimeter offers an intriguing styles clash. 

The winner of Friday’s De La Salle-Mountain Brook contest advances Saturday to face the winner of local teams, Yankton and Mitchell. Yankton tipped off the season the Argus Leader’s top-ranked team in South Dakota Class AA. 

The Hoop City Classic opens Thursday with non-tournament competition, including an interstate showdown between De La Salle and Findlay Prep; Mountain Brook faces local team Lower Brule; and an intriguing competition between Dominican out of Wisconsin and Las Vegas-area Coronado gets things started on a fitting note. 

Highlighting the Dominican-Coronado matchup are two more of the Classic’s blue-chip caliber individual talents. In action for Coronado is Carl Lewis, a 6-foot-9 center and the class of 2019’s No. 62-ranked player, per ESPN. On the Dominican side is rising 2020 prospect Alex Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-7 wing and the younger brother of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. 

The Hoop City Classic features 28 games at two venues -- the Corn Palace and Sanford Pentagon -- over four days. In addition to the marquee non-tournament matchups and the concurrent First Dakota National Bank/Gary Munsen Tournaments, the event also includes the collegiate Doug Martin Classic.


Kyle Kensing is a freelance sports journalist in southern California. Follow him on Twitter @kensing45.

5 Burning Questions Heading Into Star-Studded Spalding Hoophall Classic

The Hoophall Classic runs Jan. 17-21 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and FloHoops.com will have coverage of many of the games.

De'Aaron Fox's Unprecedented Improvement In Year Two

With a 23-21 record and just one game out of the playoff race, the Sacramento Kings have been one of the biggest surprises of this NBA season so far. While the addition of No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley and free-agent signings Yogi Ferrell and Nemanja Bjelica have certainly improved the Kings’ depth and allowed them to play with a bit more pace and space, no change has been more significant, or exciting, than the unleashing of De’Aaron Fox.

FloHoops Adds Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Multi-Year Deal

AUSTIN, Texas — January 17, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced a multiyear partnership with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to provide exclusive live and on-demand coverage of nearly 50 events on FloHoops.com, FloTrack.com, FloSoftball.com, and FloLive.tv.

Ahead of Hoophall Classic, Terrence Clarke Talks Kentucky, UConn, Syracuse

At 6-foot-6 and 180 pounds, Terrence Clarke already looks like a prototypical NBA wing, but he's still only a sophomore in high school.

NBA Draft Prospect Goga Bitadze Shines In first EuroLeague Action

In his first four games, 19-year-old Georgian center Goga Bitadze has taken EuroLeague by storm.

The Legend Of LaMelo Ball: How The SPIRE Institute Star Ascended

He has generated the buzz of an NBA All-Star, logged more airline miles than a Globetrotter and inspired more highlight clips and GIFs than any TV series. 

FloHoops Partners With SPIRE Institute Boys Basketball Starring LaMelo Ball

Deal provides FloHoops.com with streaming rights to select SPIRE Institute games this season.

NJ Champ Roselle Catholic To Face NY Champ Archbishop Stepinac This Weekend

In an ideal world, White Plains (N.Y.) Archbishop Stepinac would be at full strength for Sunday's showdown with Roselle (N.J.) Catholic, which is ranked No. 11 nationally by USA Today.

The Euro Step: Milutinov Is A Monster & Other EuroLeague Round 16 Notes

If Nikola Milutinov’s New Year’s resolution is to destroy everything in his path, he’s off to a great start.

Isaiah Stewart Considering Duke, Kentucky, & 3 Others, Will Decide 'Soon'

Isaiah Stewart is one of the most sought-after uncommitted recruits in the Class of 2019, and he has everyone from fans to college coaches guessing on where he'll be playing college basketball next season.