Central is headed to Allen, Texas, next season to compete in one of the nation's top tournaments it was announced Wednesday (Jan. 30).
The City of Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau and Allen Eagles Men’s Basketball extended a formal invitation to the 2019 In-N-Out Burger Allen Holiday Invitational on Friday. Only two schools outside of Texas received the opportunity and the Tigers are thrilled to be one of them.
This past year, the tournament hosted 32 of the best teams in Texas and featured over 50 top-100 players in their respective classes.
"We host, in our biased opinion of course, one of the best holiday tournaments in the nation," said Allen coach Drew Williamson. "In 2019 we would like to bring in a couple of teams from outside the state of Texas to add to our already competitive field."
The tournament will be held Dec. 26-28 and includes a guarantee of four games.
You know what they say, everything is bigger in Texas. In 2018, the tournament hosted 80 teams at 3 sites with 153 games being played in seven gyms.
Allen hosts as competitive of a tournament as anyone in the country. This year's field boasted nine teams which were ranked in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches preseason rankings.
The Allen Holiday Invitational is run by the Allen Basketball Booster Club and raises money for the club, the In-N-Out Foundation (an organization which assists children who have been victims of abuse), and Allen Community Outreach.
Teams in this year's big school bracket featured: Allen (champion) , Amarillo, Bryan Rudder, Cedar Hill, Cibolo Steele, Coppell, Cypress Creek, Dickinson, Fort Bend Hightower, Fort Bend Travis, Fort Worth Brewer, Frisco Heritage, Frisco Lone Star, Garland Naaman Forest, Highland Park, Humble Atascocita, Keller Central, Killeen Shoemaker, Klein Oak, Lake Travis (runner-up), Little Elm, Mansfield Summit, Mount Pleasant, North Forney, Pflugerville Hendrickson, Plano East, Prestonwood Christian, Red Oak, Richardson Berkner, Rockwall, Rockwall Heath and Rowlett.
UPDATE (March 5)
The 2019 In-N-Out Holiday Invitational completed its field of 32 teams, including the first out-of-state visitors Little Rock Central and Ouachita Parish (Louisiana). Teams that have committed to participate include:
Fort Bend Hightower
Fort Bend Travis
Frisco Lone Star
Little Rock Central (AR)
Ouachita Parish (LA)
Plano John Paul II
This year's tournament will feature two 16-team tournaments instead of one big 32-team bracket. The 32 teams will be divided into a big school bracket and elite big school bracket in early December.