The ATL Peach Elite Series consists of twelve premier high school basketball tournaments in the Atlanta-area throughout the months of November, December and January. There are over 130 different teams – both boys and girls - competing in the ATL Peach Elite Series from seven different states. 11 teams that competed for a GHSA state title last season will play in an ATL Peach Elite Series event. Each tournament will broadcast live online on SUVtv.com
20 of the top 35 seniors in Georgia (boys), will appear in an ATL Peach Elite Series tournament. No. 1 on that list is guard Kobi Simmons, the No. 24 player in the country, who attends St. Francis and will play in four different tournaments in the series. No. 2 on that list is Alterique Gilbert, No. 26 in the country, who plays for Miller Grove and will play in two tournaments in the series.
But perhaps the biggest name to watch is Wendell Carter. The junior from Atlanta attends Pace Academy and is touted as the No. 1 player in all the land in the class of 2017. Carter’s dynamic set of skills make him one of the most fun players to watch. You can catch Pace in two ATL Peach Elite Series tournaments.
Here is the full list of the ATL Peach Elite Series:
These tournaments are expected to draw over 40,000 spectators and over 210,000 webcast views. Veteran Atlanta sportscaster Sam Crenshaw is a spokesman for the ATL Peach Elite Series and 92.9 The Game as well as Positive Athlete Georgia are partners. Each tournament will feature an on-site video board that will broadcast high-resolution logos and instant replay. And now for an in-depth look at each tournament in the 2015-2016 ATL Peach Elite Series:
Lady Blue Tip-off Classic
When: November 14
Where: Norcross, Ga. (Norcross HS)
Last year’s GHSA state runner-ups in both 6A and 5A, Norcross and Mays, headline the first tournament of the year. The Blue Devils posted a 28-5 record last year and lost to McEachern in OT in the state final. Mays was 27-3 after losing the state final to Stephenson. Fayette County – an elite eight team in 4A last year - Parkview, Hillgrove, Woodstock, Tift. Co. and Tucker make up the rest of the playing field.
Verizon Hoops for a Cure Classic
When: November 20, 21
Where: Alpharetta, Ga. (St. Francis HS, Milton HS)
Who: Boys and Girls
This may be the first opportunity this for a lot of fans to see what Kobi Simmons has to offer. The St. Francis power forward and the reigning state champion Knights are a part of the Hoops for a Cure Classic. Another junior power forward worth watching will take the floor too. Jacara Cross and the Cedar Grove Saints join Centennial, Brewbaker Tech, University Christian HS, Sacred Hearts Catholic School, Griffin, Westminster, Greater Atlanta Christian and Tennessee Prep Academy on the boys side of the tournament.
St. Francis girls’ team, who won the 1A Private state championship last year alongside the boys, highlights the girls division. Sequoyah, which lost in the 4A quarterfinals last year, joins the competition alongside of Mays and Carver (AL). Carver is a playoff team in the state of Alabama and adds another quality opponent in the Verizon Hoops for a Cure Classic. The girls’ side is stout for such an early tournament.
Jared Cook Classic
When: November 21, 23 & 24
Where: Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett HS)
Teams from every side of Atlanta will converge on North Gwinnett HS the weekend before Thanksgiving. From Gainesville, to Peachtree Ridge; Alpharetta to Berkmar…the geographical range of the Jared Cook Classic is impressive. The tournament benefits Komen Race for a Cure. St. Francis is playing in this one too, so there will be little turnover time for the Knights. Greenforest Christian Academy, Dacula Langston Hughes and Berkmar HS add major depth and talent to the field. Greenforest’s starting five will all likely play division-1 basketball within the next two years. Center Ikey Obiagu, standing at 7’1, leads the Eagles. He is the No. 11 junior in the nation. Sequoyah, Central Gwinnett, Archer, Buford, Lee (AL), Lambert, Collins Hill and Duluth will all compete for the Jared Cook Classic title.
When: November 28, 29
Where: Atlanta, Ga. (Holy Innocents HS)
Who: Boys and Girls
IMG Academy. Pebblebrook. Norcross. Greenforest. Potter’s House. Pace. 22ft. Academy. Whoa…and that’s just to name a few. Three of the top 25 seniors in America and two of the top 15 juniors in America will play in what may be the deepest tournament of the 2015-2016 season. It’s going to look like a Georgia Stars reunion. Wendell Carter, of Pace Academy, will play some of the best competition he’ll see all year long. Udoka Aubuike, the No. 12 senior in the country, leads Potter’s House while Jonathan Isaac, the No. 14 senior in the country, leads IMG Academy. Azubuike is a 6’11, 240 lbs. center from Jacksonville, Fla. He is a force in the paint. Isaac is a long, athletic power forward stands at 6’9 and 190 lbs. This tournament has a ton of out-of-state talent built in. It will be interesting to watch how the players for the surrounding states stack up against Georgia’s own. The other teams in the boys division are Douglas County, McIntosh, Paideia, Meadowcreek, Covenant Christian, Duluth, Sacred Heart (AL) and Columbia (AL).
St. Pius, Jonesboro, Columbus, Huntsville (AL), Clarke Central, Mountain View, South Atlanta and Duchtown represent the girls division.
On the Radar Hoops Invitational
When: November 28
Where: Duluth, Ga. (Duluth HS)
Berkmar, Douglas County and East Jackson all finished with good seasons last year, but have hopes for more this season. Berkmar’s junior shooting guard Al Durham has already committed to play basketball at Indiana, and will put his shooting abilities on display against the likes of Gainesville, Newton, Duluth, Langston Hughes and Brookwood.
Basketball Xplosion Showcase
When: December 5
Where: Marietta, Ga. (Wheeler HS)
The reigning 6A state champions host some excellent competition in this one-day showcase. The Wildcats will be joined by fellow state champion St. Francis, a Westlake team that got some key transfers in the off-season, Pebblebrook, Lee (AL), Jenkins, Johnson from Savannah and cross-town rival Walton. Senior power forward Romello White, the No. 4 ranked player in the state of Georgia, transferred to Wheeler in the offseason from IMG Academy. He joins Cam Jordan, a top-30 senior and Darius Perry, the No. 8 junior in the state of Georgia. Junior power forward Chuma Okeke left a good Langston Hughes team to join the forces at Westlake. Okeke was dominant last season with 22.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg, his presence immediately makes Westlake a contender.
Peach State Holiday Tournament
When: December 18, 19 &21
Where: Douglasville, Ga. (Alexander HS)
Who: Boys and Girls
This three-day tournament right before Christmas will bring some fresh faces to the airwaves of the ATL Peach Elite Series. Alexander, Creekside, Morrow, New Manchester, North Clayton, Southwest Dekalb, Therrell and Whitefield will duke it out on the boys side. Alexander, Drew, Fayette County, Hiram, Langston Hughes, South Atlanta and Tucker represent the girls division.
Lake City Classic
When: December 27-30
Where: Acworth, Ga. (Allatoona HS)
It’s called Lake City Classic for a reason. Mostly every team in this tournament is closer to either Lake Allatoona or Lake Lanier than to Atlanta. This is an interesting mix of basketball teams. Teams that used to be powerhouses like Milton and Centennial will play as well as up and coming teams like the host and 2015 5A state runner-up, Allatoona as well as Alpharetta. McIntosh, Harrison, Hillgrove, Carrolton, Lambert, McEachern, North Cobb Christian, Calhoun, Kell and Riverwood will also compete to win the Lake City Classic.
When: December 26-30
Where: Tucker, Ga. (Tucker HS)
Miller Grove highlights this four-day tournament that includes teams from three other states. Meridian HS (MS), Brainerd HS (TN) and South Miami (FL) make the trek to Atlanta to face some of the best teams in the state, including the hosting team, Tucker HS.
When: January 16
Where: Lawrenceville, Ga. (Archer HS)
Two state champions and two runner-ups are in the playing field for what may be the most talented girl’s tournament in the ATL Peach Elite Series. 1A Private School Champion St. Francis, 2A State Champion Wesleyan, 2A runner-up Holy Innocents and 6A tunner-up Norcross highlight the Krossover Klassic field. 2014 6A runner-up Archer joins the field as well as Jefferson Davis, Brentwood Academy (TN), Mountain View, Shades Valley, Loganville and Myers Park (NC).
Blue Collar Basketball MLK Showcase
When: January 18
Where: Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge HS)
This six-team tournament is small, but power-packed. Peachtree Ridge plays host to East Jackson, Langston Hughes, Berkmar, Sequoyah and Greenforest Christian. Every team in this tournament will compete for a state title this year.
Peachtree Corners Invitational
When: January 23
Where: Norcross, Ga. (Norcross HS)
The last tournament in the ATL Peach Elite Series features five teams from Georgia and five teams from around the country. The star power in this tournament is phenomenal. Home team Norcross will have to contend with the No. 6 player in the nation in Bam Adebayo and the North Point Christian Academy (NC) (according to ESPN100); Kobi Simmons and St. Francis, Wendell Carter and Pace, Alterique Gilbert and Miller Grove as well as St. Pius, St. Johns (D.C.), Providence Day (NC), Mountain Brook (AL) and Alderice (PA).
*all player rankings according to Hoopseen.com*
Colin is a commentator/writer for SUVtv as well as an intern at 680 The Fan sports talk radio station. He was the Georgia Southern men's basketball beat writer for the university's newspaper from 2011-2015. Colin lives in Marietta, Ga. and graduated from Wheeler High School in 2011. Follow him on twitter @Colin_Ritsick