Corn Palace to host all three days of Hoop City Classic: Pentagon out of 2020 event

Mitchell will host 19 of 21 games at this year's classic.

Houston's (Tenn.) Mason Miller (13) shoots a jumper as Mitchell's Zane Alm (40) defends during the Hoop City Classic last season at the Corn Palace.

For one year, the Corn Palace will again be the primary home of the Hoop City Classic.

The three-day event was originally spread out between Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Yankton. But due to COVID-19 restrictions at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, Mitchell will host all but two games this season. The Pentagon has served as co-host since 2014.

“The Pentagon has been great to us,” event director and Mitchell native Ernie Kuyper said. “It’s an unbelievable venue. I just felt it was best for everybody involved to make sure the families could watch their children play basketball.”

The event is Dec. 28-30 in Mitchell and Yankton, with 19 of the 21 games at the Corn Palace. Kuyper said the Pentagon would allow only around 80 tickets per team. The Corn Palace will allow half capacity of the 3,200-seat venue to the classic, which annually brings in highly-ranked prep basketball players and teams each year.

“I just wanted to guarantee that families could be able to attend their kid’s games,” Kuyper added. “I couldn’t get that guaranteed at the Pentagon.”


Kuyper said masks will be required for all spectators, while locker rooms, benches, basketballs and specific seating locations will be sanitized between games.

There will be two games in Yankton on Dec. 28, with the rest of the action in Mitchell on Dec. 28-30. There will be two sessions each day at the Corn Palace and fans will have to exit in between sessions, said Kuyper.

Tickets will go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Friday. Session passes will be $12 or fans can purchase all-tournament session passes for $36. There will be 300 all-session tickets available for purchase at

The event’s former namesake -- Mike Miller -- will be back for this year’s classic. The former Kernel and long-time NBA swingman is the Houston (Tenn.) High School head boys basketball coach. The Mustangs will play three games during the classic.

“With Mike and I being from Mitchell, it was a no-brainer,” Kuyper said. “We are absolutely excited to bring the show to the Palace all three days.”

Miller’s son Mason, a four-star prospect, headlines Houston’s highly-touted roster. A 6-foot-9, 180-pound power forward, Mason Miller will play basketball at Creighton. Six-foot-10 center Jerrell Colbert (LSU signee) and three-star point guard T.J. Madlock also headline the Mustangs. Mavrick Miller -- Mike Miller’s youngest son -- is a 6-foot-5 sophomore for the Mustangs.

Houston will play Arizona Compass Prep on Dec. 28 in a marquee matchup. Arizona Compass Prep has a bevy of nationally-ranked prospects, including recent Creighton commit and four-star senior guard TyTy Washington. Six-foot-7 Alden Applewhite, a former Houston High School player, is a three-star small forward for Dragons. Six-foot-9 power forward Sadraque Nganga, who is the 15th-ranked player in the 2022 class, holds offers from Kentucky, UCLA and Maryland, among others.

Houston will also play Brandon Valley on Dec. 29 and First Assembly Christian (Tenn.) on Dec. 30. The Mitchell boys basketball team plays Campbell County on Dec. 28 and First Assembly Christian (Tenn.) on Dec. 30.


From a statewide perspective, Class A boys basketball powers Sioux Falls Christian and St. Thomas More will play on Dec. 29. On Dec. 30, Class B boys basketball teams Howard and White River will play in Mitchell. The teams played last season at a rescheduled Hoop City Classic game, with White River completing a 13-point fourth-quarter rally with a buzzer-beater at the Corn Palace.

2020 Hoop City Classic

Dec. 28-30 in Mitchell and Yankton

All games are boys games unless noted.

Dec. 28 in Yankton

Yankton JV vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.) JV, 5:30 p.m.

Yankton vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.), 7 p.m.

Dec. 28 in Mitchell


Session 1

Mitchell Christian vs. Bridgewater-Emery, 10:30 a.m.

Freeman Academy/Marion vs. First Assembly Christian (Tenn.), 12:15 p.m.

Canistota vs. Wynot (Neb.), 2 p.m.

Session 2

Vermillion vs. Viborg-Hurley, 5 p.m.

Houston (Tenn.) vs. Arizona Compass Prep, 6:45 p.m.

Campbell County (Wyo.) vs. Mitchell, 8:30 p.m.


Dec. 29 in Mitchell

Session 3

Bridgewater-Emery girls vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.) girls, 10:30 a.m.

Viborg-Hurley vs. First Assembly Christian (Tenn.), 12:15 p.m.

Arizona Compass Prep vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.), 2 p.m.

Session 4

Yankton vs. Campbell County (Wyo.), 5 p.m.

Brandon Valley vs. Houston (Tenn.), 6:45 p.m.


Sioux Falls Christian vs. St. Thomas More, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 30 in Mitchell

Session 5

Bridgewater-Emery vs. Gregory, 9:30 a.m.

Hanson vs. Aberdeen Christian, 11:15 a.m.

Arizona Compass Prep vs. Campbell County (Wyo.), 1 p.m.

Session 6

Mitchell girls vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.) girls, 4 p.m.


Houston (Tenn.) vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.), 5:30 p.m.

Mitchell vs. First Assembly Christian (Tenn.), 7 p.m.

Howard vs. White River, 8:30 p.m.

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