The first weekend of high school basketball is promising to be full of some exciting matchups because of a series of premier showcase events.
The Scholastic Play-By-Play/Inquirer Tip-Off Classic will feature seven boys' games Saturday at Philadelphia University. Life Center will open the morning action at 10:30 against Academy of the New Church. La Salle will play Coatesville at 3:30, and Neumann-Goretti will face Philadelphia Electrical at 5:15.
On Sunday, the All City Classic Showcase at Girard College will feature Roman Catholic against Haverford School and Life Center vs. Math, Civics and Sciences. The doubleheader will tip off at 1 p.m. The event will include 14 Division I prospects, among them Temple-bound guard Levan Alston of Haverford School and standout Roman guard Tony Carr.
Life Center, which plays in both events, is led by Traci Carter. The senior guard is being recruited by Louisville. Cardinals coach Rick Pitino watched him play earlier this week.
Life Center is coached by Pervis Ellison, who played at Louisville and whose son, Malik, is set to return soon from a leg injury.
"It's tough competition," said Pervis Ellison, a former No. 1 pick in the NBA. "We play a national schedule, so we try to get as many competitive games as possible."
The girls' opening weekend will be highlighted by Sunday's Blue Chip Tip-Off Classic. The five-game event will begin at 11 a.m. at Archbishop Carroll.
Drexel signee Aubree Brown will lead Archbishop Wood against powerful South Shore (N.Y.) at 2. Lexi Stover will guide host Carroll against St. Frances Academy (Md.) at 5.