Tennessee, Arizona powerhouses headline Hoop City Classic schedule: Three-day event spread out across three cities

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Houston, Tennessee's Mason Miller, right, drives to the basket against Mitchell's Caden Hinker, left, at the Corn Palace during the 2019 Hoop City Classic.

The Hoop City Classic is officially expanding to three sites and three nights.

The schedule for the 11th annual event, which brings in highly-ranked prep basketball players each year, has officially been released. The event is Dec. 28-30 in Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Yankton.

It’s the first year Yankton will have games and the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls will host two of the three days. The Corn Palace will have seven games on Dec. 30, while the Sanford Pentagon will have 12 of the 21 games on Dec. 28-29.

Event director Ernie Kuyper, a Mitchell native, said travel is easier and safer for the out-of-state teams getting in and out of Sioux Falls. That’s why Sioux Falls landed a bulk of this year’s games, but he reiterated the Corn Palace and Mitchell will always be a part of the classic.

“That’s where we grew up and that’s where we started it because of the Mitchell Kernels,” Kuyper said. “Mitchell will be a host site every single year.”


Kuyper added the ongoing pandemic impacted scheduling and he was continuously reshuffling teams throughout the process. The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s basketball team canceled its two classic games against Carroll College and Montana Tech due to those respective teams testing protocols.

“It’s obviously a fluid situation and it was very, very challenging like everything is with COVID right now,” Kuyper said. “We are up for it and we will keep pushing forward.”

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.

“It’s going to be unbelievable for the family,” said Kuyper, who is Miller’s cousin. “It’s going to be a surreal moment and one of those moments you just need to cherish. You have to enjoy it and take it in while you are there and just really enjoy it. It’s going to be great.”

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 soon decide between Indiana and Creighton for his college services. 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 at the Sanford Pentagon. 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.

“That’s going to be a high-level matchup,” Kuyper said about the Mustangs and Dragons. “I believe that’s the best matchup of the entire classic.”

Houston will also play Brandon Valley on Dec. 29 at the Pentagon and Thunder Basin (Wyo.) on Dec. 30 at the Corn Palace. Compass Prep will play Thunder Basin on Dec. 29 in Sioux Falls and Campbell County (Wyo.) on Dec. 30 in Mitchell.


The Mitchell boys basketball team plays Campbell County on Dec. 28 in Sioux Falls and First Assembly Christian (Tenn.) on Dec. 29 in Mitchell.

From a statewide perspective, Class A boys basketball powers Sioux Falls Christian and St. Thomas More will play on Dec. 29 in Sioux Falls. 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 Yankton, Sioux Falls and Mitchell

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 Sioux Falls


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.

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

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

Vermillion vs. Viborg-Hurley, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 29 in Sioux Falls

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.

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

Bridgewater-Emery vs. Gregory, 11 a.m.

Hanson vs. Aberdeen Christian, 12:30 p.m.


Mitchell girls vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.) girls, 2 p.m.

Mitchell vs. First Assembly Christian (Tenn.), 3:30 p.m.

Arizona Compass Prep vs. Campbell County (Wyo.), 5 p.m.

Houston (Tenn.) vs. Thunder Basin (Wyo.), 6:30 p.m.

Howard vs. White River, 8 p.m.

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