08.15.18 | News
First look – Who might fill the field of the 2018 City of Palms Classic
The No. 1 high school tournament in the nation is bringing another stacked field to Fort Myers. We can’t tell you who’s coming to this year’s Culligan City of Palms Classic just yet — that’ll have to wait until next month — but we can tell you that five of the top 10 teams on the MaxPreps Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2018-19 will grace the Suncoast Credit Union Arena come December.
Defending Culligan City of Palms champ University School (Fort Lauderdale) tops the MaxPreps list, with studs Vernon Carey and Scottie Barnes forming an impressive one-two punch. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kansas) boasts 7-foot junior N’Faly Dante, while IMG Academy (Bradenton) has the even more physically imposing 7-foot-3 senior Chol Marial.
No. 4 McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia) was a Culligan City of Palms team a year ago, and this year they could field a starting five made entirely of elite college prospects. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, California) has an elite pedigree with Kenyon Martin Jr. and Scotty Pippen Jr. (yes, he spells it with a Y) on the roster.
Perennial powerhouse DeMatha (Hyattsville, Maryland) is once more a national force with five returning starters. Former NBA point guard Mike Bibby has clearly spent his post-playing career doing two things: Hitting the weights and building an elite program at Shadow Mountain (Phoenix), No. 7 on the MaxPreps list.
Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) is poised to enter the season with its highest expectations yet, while three-time Culligan City of Palms champ Montverde Academy (Montverde, Florida) is expected to be loaded again. Legendary coach Steve Smith has No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia) set to do damage again.
Keep an eye out for next month’s newsletter to learn which five of these 10 national powers will end up in Fort Myers.