Grayson and Kell Set To Participate In Throne National Basketball Tournament

Kell and Grayson are set to participate in the Throne Hoops National Tournament on March 27th-30th for the second consecutive year. Grayson and Kell met in the first round of the tournament last year, and the Longhorns won 70-67. The teams faced each other earlier this season with the Rams getting the victory 70-54 in November. Kell has made the deepest run of any Georgia team so far in the tournament. Four teams made it last season including Grayson, Kell, Wheeler, and Eagles Landing. Wheeler was considered the best team in the state of Georgia in 2023 and was led by the best player in the country in Isaiah Collier (USC)

The Throne was initially launched in 2023 with the NBPA playing a pivotal factor in this tournament coming to fruition. The NBPA and Gold Level Sports Entertained partnered to create a new bracket-style tournament for high school athletes. The initial location was at Morehouse College here in Atlanta in its inaugural year and was chosen to “support the development of HBCUs by driving awareness of the university’s rich culture and history, per a release. Last season the games aired on NBA TV and FS1 (Fox Sports).

Kell won back to back state championships after winning its first title in 2023. Kell finished the season on a 27-game winning streak after a 1-3 start, with their last loss coming against the Rams. The Longhorns defeated some impressive wins this past season knocking off big-time programs like Wheeler, North Broward Prep (FL), Jackson-Reed (DC) and Eagles Landing.

Kell was led this season by standout guard CJ Brown (South Florida-signee) who elevated his game to a new level. Brown proved he could carry the scoring load and was a dominant three-level scorer all season long. In the state championship win against Eagles Landing, Brown finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. He was named the Georgia Basketball Coaches Association (GBCA) 5A All-State Player of the Year. Brown was also selected to participate in the GBCA All-Star game at Gateway Arena on March 23rd.

Cannon Richards will be another player to watch in the tournament. Richards stepped up big this past season for the Longhorns after star big man Peyton Marshall left for Overtime Elite to play for Rod Wave Elite (RWE). Richards was a force on the glass this season and a dependable big man for Kell en route to a state title. He was named a GBCA all-state selection for 5A. The Longhorn big man finished his career with 1,000+ points and 700+ rebounds in his career and remains unsigned.

Grayson clinched their first-ever state championship in program history after a 51-41 win against McEachern who was led by Ace Bailey (#2 player in the country). Grayson was one of the most well-rounded teams in the state of Georgia this past season and finished with 30 wins. They had a plethora of ways to beat you whether it was their strong frontcourt with four-star Jacob Wilkins (UGA commit) and Amir Taylor or their great backcourt with four-star Gicarri Harris (Purdue signee) and three-star CJ Highland (Western Carolina signee). Harris finished his career as Grayson’s all-time leading scorer surpassing Austin Dukes for the top spot, and was named Region 4-7A Player of the Year.

It was a year of accolades for the Rams as their head coach Geoffrey Pierce won his first-ever state title as a coach and was named Region Coach of the Year. Five players were named all-region selections including Highland, Wilkins, Taylor, Harris, and Anthony Alston. The Rams didn’t suffer an in-state loss the entire season and ended the season on a 15-game winning streak.

There is a possibility that the Rams and Longhorns could face each other in the tournament if they make a deep run. With how the bracket looks, the rematch could take place in the semifinals, if both teams take care of business. It would be the third time in the past two seasons that the teams faced each other. Grayson currently holds a 2-0 advantage against Kell, but this matchup could be a barnburner if they meet again.

The Throne is a fairly new tournament but already has significant backing from the NBA behind it. As compared to the Chipotle National Tournament on ESPN which features only ten teams, the Throne offers a great alternative that includes six more teams. None of the Georgia teams made the cut for the Chipotle National Tournament. The Throne hasn’t been shy about bringing in top Georgia teams to compete. It is another way for top teams and high school players to compete on the court with the respective high school teams one last time for seniors, and a way for upperclassmen and underclassmen to get put on a major platform early on in their careers.

As far as where the games will air this year, it is expected to be announced at a later date.

Here is the full schedule:


Tags: , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply