This basketball season will mark the return of the Seagull Classic.
Once among the nation’s top high school basketball tournaments, the Seagull Classic started in 1972 and was held at Holy Spirit High School as well as Philadelphia college sites, including the Palestra, through the 1970s and 1980s.
The South Jersey Basketball Summit is bringing back the Seagull Classic at Holy Spirit on Jan. 5, 6 and 7.
The showcase event will feature both top boys’ and girls’ teams.
Some of the top boys’ teams include Patrick School, which won the Tournament of Champions last season, along with North Jersey public-school power Linden and South Jersey powers Camden, Atlantic City, St. Augustine, Timber Creek and Camden Catholic as well as Olympus Prep, a new program for fifth-year players that is based in Williamstown.
The showcase also will feature a girls’ game between perennial power Gloucester Catholic and Mainland, which will be led by sophomore Kylee Watson, a member of the USA U-16 national team.
The Summit organization is a non-profit led by local basketball officials. The group hosts a summit of coaches, officials and others every year with a goal of discussing ways to improve the sport.
In an era before showcase events that now are held nearly every weekend, the Seagull Classic used to feature some of the best teams in the area vs national powers.
In 1981, Camden’s Milt Wagner scored 52 in a Seagull Classic game at Holy Spirit in a victory over DeMatha Catholic of Hyattsville, Md., coached by the legendary Morgan Wootten.
Here is the schedule for the 2018 Seagull Classic:
Friday, Jan. 5:
Holy Spirit vs. Middle Twp., 6 p.m. (girls)
St. Augustine vs. Middle Twp., 7:30 p.m. (boys)
Saturday, Jan. 6:
Olympus Prep vs. TBA, 12:30 p.m. (boys)
Lower Cape May vs. Wildwood, 2:15 p.m. (boys)
St. Joseph vs. Howell, 4 p.m. (boys)
Timber Creek vs. Linden, 5:45 p.m. (boys)
Gloucester Catholic vs. Mainland, 7:30 p.m. (girls)
Sunday Jan. 7:
Ocean City vs. Lenape, noon (girls)
Lenape vs. Wildwood Catholic, 1:30 p.m. (boys)
Patrick School vs. Samford (Del.), 3 p.m. (boys)
Camden vs. Martin Luther King (Pa.), 4:30 p.m. (boys)
Atlantic City vs. Camden Catholic, 6 p.m. (boys)
Holy Spirit vs. Pleasantville, 7:30 p.m. (boys)