Another Miller will grace the Corn Palace court.
The Hoop City Classic schedule has been released and it’s headlined by Mason Miller -- the son of former NBA sharpshooter Mike Miller -- playing at the same venue his father packed during the late 1990’s for the Mitchell High School boys basketball team. Several other Miller family members starred at the iconic arena for the Kernels and Dakota Wesleyan University.
“It’s just going to be great to let Mason play where his dad played,” Hoop City Classic President and Mitchell native Ernie Kuyper said. “It’s going to be great for the city of Mitchell, great for the family and great for the state of South Dakota.”
Mason Miller and Houston High School (Tenn.) will play the Kernels at 8:30 p.m on Dec. 27. The Hoop City Classic -- formerly the Mike Miller Classic -- is Dec. 27-29 at the Corn Palace and the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls. It’s the 10th annual event.
Mason Miller, a 6-foot-9 junior power forward, is the No. 71 ranked player in the newest class of 2021 rankings on Rivals.com. He has a scholarship offer from Memphis, which is where Mike is an assistant coach under former NBA star Penny Hardaway. Florida (where Mike played college basketball) and TCU (where uncle Ryan Miller is an assistant) have also offered, along with Creighton.
The Mustangs, who Kuyper said has “probably five Division I players,” will also be led by Alden Applewhite. A 6-foot-6 small forward, Applewhite has offers from TCU, Ole Miss and Texas A&M. He’s the No. 48 ranked player in 2021, according to ESPN.com. Junior point guard T.J. Madlock, whose dad Tony is also an assistant for Memphis, is a member of the Mustangs.
Houston will also play at the Sanford Pentagon on Dec. 28 against Yankton, which is powered by rising junior Matthew Mors. The 6-foot-7 power forward recently debuted in Rivals.com rankings as the No. 121 prospect in the 2021 class. Mors has scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Creighton, Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, TCU, Colorado, South Dakota State and South Dakota.
“Miller and Mors -- that’s going to be just a great matchup, too,” Kuyper said. “Houston is favored to win the Tennessee state tournament in the biggest class. I would say Yankton has to be one of the favorites in South Dakota.”
The three-day, 29-game event also has prep teams from Minnesota, Texas and Massachusetts. On Dec. 27, DeLaSalle (Minnesota) will play Cornerstone Christian Academy (Texas) at 5:30 p.m. DeLaSalle, which is a Hoop City Classic mainstay, has won seven of the last eight Class 3A state titles in Minnesota.
Cornerstone is paced by 2021 four-star Jerrell Colbert, who is the No. 22 ranked player on Rivals.com. The 6-foot-9, 200-pound Colbert has received scholarship offers from 17 Division I schools, including Baylor, California, LSU, Memphis, Minnesota, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and Wake Forest, among others. Tre White is the 6-foot-5, 175-pound shooting guard in the 2022 class and is the No. 37 ranked prospect on Rivals.com. He’s already verbally committed to Kansas. Point guard Austin Nunez is a point guard in the 2022 class and has early offers from Memphis, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Wake Forest.
“Each year we kind of have a national game at the Corn Palace,” Kuyper said. “That’s going to be a big-time battle.”
Yankton will then play Lynn English (Mass.) at 7 p.m. Lynn English captured the Massachusetts state championship in the winter, while the Bucks took fourth in Class AA last season.
“It is going to be fun to see one of South Dakota’s best teams against Massachusetts’ best team,” Kuyper said. “It’s going to great to compare it to see where we stand. I say we as in South Dakota and where we stand against the nation’s best.”
After Mitchell plays Houston at 8:30 p.m., a Class B showdown between White River and Howard will cap off the night at 10 p.m. White River is a Class B power and has played in 14 straight Class B state tournaments. Howard returns a majority of last season’s roster and added Elk Point-Jefferson transfer Sam Aslesen to the fold.
On Dec. 28, the action continues at the Corn Palace and also shifts to the Sanford Pentagon. In Mitchell, Hanson will play Aberdeen Christian at 2:30 p.m. in another Class B boys basketball matchup. Canistota boys will play Lyman at 4 p.m., with Mitchell to play Twin Cities Academy in another boys game at 5:30 p.m. Viborg-Hurley boys will play Northwestern at 7 p.m. in a rematch from last season’s SoDak16 game at the Corn Palace, which Viborg-Hurley won 55-52 to advance to state.
In Sioux Falls, there will be 10 games at the Pentagon on Dec. 28. Brandon Valley, which won last year’s Class AA boys basketball title, plays DeLaSalle at 6:30 p.m. After Yankton plays Houston at 8 p.m., Huron boys will play Cornerstone at 9:30 p.m. in the night cap.
On the college side, Dakota Wesleyan University men will play Trinity International (Ill.) on Dec. 28 and Southeastern (Fla.) on Dec. 29 at the Corn Palace.
2019 Hoop City Classic Schedule
Friday, Dec. 27 -- Corn Palace
10 a.m.: Twin Cities Academy (Minn.) girls vs. Sibley East (Minn.)
11:30 a.m.: Lower Brule vs. Twin Cities Academy (Minn.)
1 p.m.: Gregory vs. Breckenridge (Minn.)
2:30 p.m.: Bridgewater-Emery vs. Collierville (Tenn.)
4 p.m.: Yankton girls vs. Minneota (Minn.)
5:30 p.m.: DeLaSalle (Minn.) vs. Cornerstone (Texas)
7 p.m.: Yankton vs. Lynn English (Mass.)
8:30 p.m.: Mitchell vs. Houston (Tenn.)
10 p.m.: White River vs. Howard
Saturday, Dec. 28 -- Corn Palace
9:30 a.m.: Bridgewater-Emery vs. Mitchell Christian
11 a.m.: Mitchell girls vs. Twin Cities Academy (Minn.)
12:30 p.m.: Morningside College vs. Southeastern (Fla.)
2:30 p.m.: Hanson vs. Aberdeen Christian
4 p.m.: Canistota vs. Lyman
5:30 p.m.: Mitchell vs. Twin Cities Academy
7 p.m.: Viborg-Hurley vs. Northwestern
8:30 p.m.: Dakota Wesleyan University vs. Trinity (Ill.)
Saturday, Dec. 28 -- Sanford Pentagon
8 a.m.: Sioux Falls Washington vs. Collierville (Tenn.)
9:30 a.m.: Tea Area vs. Breckenridge (Minn.)
11 a.m.: Harrisburg girls vs. Luverne (Minn.)
12:30 p.m.: Harrisburg vs. Lynn English (Mass.)
2 p.m.: Sioux Falls Christian girls vs. Minneota (Minn.)
3:30 p.m.: Sioux Falls Christian vs. Central Minnesota Christian
5 p.m.: Yankton girls vs. Sibley East (Minn.)
6:30 p.m.: Brandon Valley vs. DeLaSalle (Minn.)
8 p.m.: Yankton vs. Houston (Tenn.)
9:30 p.m.: Huron vs. Cornerstone (Texas)
Sunday, Dec. 29 -- Corn Palace
1 p.m.: Morningside College vs. Trinity (Ill.)
3 p.m.: Dakota Wesleyan vs. Southeastern (Fla.)