During the annual madness that is the NCAA Tournament, it’s hard not to pine for a similar event that captures all the best high school teams in the world in a single place. After all, while the National High School Invitational has begun to capture most of the top 10 American programs, no one is searching out the best teams in other countries, some of whom have produced handfuls of NBA contributors.
Now that dream appears to be close to fruition, you’ll just have to travel to Dubai to take it in.
As reported by MaxPreps, three of the most prestigious high school basketball programs in the U.S. -- Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, Lone Peak (Utah) High and Montverde (Fla.) Academy -- have all been approached about taking part in an international showcase tournament to be held in the Dubai in June of 2014. While no terms of the invitations have been released, the event is being organized by a group called MPAC Sports, which also plans to invite other high school teams that are the best in their respective nations in the Middle East and Africa.
Given that MPAC is a Chicago-based outfit that has strong connections and access to senior figures in Dubai, it likely has access to the kinds of funds that would be required to transport a host of international squads to the United Arab Emirates in the summer heat, even if sources told MaxPreps that financing for travel associated with the event had yet to be finalized.
That could mean quarterfinal matchups between the likes of Montverde and a team from Israel or Senegal, followed by a championship game between Montverde and Huntington Prep.
While the event might seem like a tremendous cultural opportunity for some of America’s most prestigious college hoops prospects, that hardly means it’s already on all systems go. Rather, its likely that the different state governing bodies that oversee sports in the state of each team invited to the event would have to clear the students involved to travel to Dubai and compete in a tournament outside the officially sanctioned calendar.
For the moment, that means that the MPAC Elite International Tournament might be just a dream, albeit one that may very well come true sooner rather than later.