42nd Annual HAECO Invitational Pre-Tournament Notes

Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center; December 26-28, 2017

For Immediate Release.                                                                                                                                                            Dec. 12, 2017

►        HAECO Americas and Aviation Careers:  As part of its effort to educate Piedmont Triad high school students about their industry and encourage them to discover the available opportunities in the aviation and aerospace fields, HAECO Americas staff will be onsite throughout the HAECO Invitational to talk with students and their parents who want to learn more about HAECO and the aviation industry at large.  The HAECO display will be located in the alcove between the concessions stand and the exit at the south end of court No. 1 – not sure where that is?  Just look for the aircraft seats. 

 

►        Championship Game Teams Celebrate at HAECO:  For the last several years, HAECO Invitational championship teams have been invited to HAECO Americas for a championship celebration and tour of the facility.  New this year in an effort to expose more tournament participants to its facility, HAECO expanded this event to also include the tournament runner-up teams.  The four teams participating in the HAECO Invitational championship games will be invited to the celebration on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at HAECO Americas at Piedmont Triad International Airport.  Winning teams in the four semifinal games will receive additional information after their semifinal victories

 

►        Follow the HAECO:  The HAECO Invitational is on social media – follow the HAECO on Twitter: @HAECOInvit and on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HAECOInvitational.

 

►        The Tournament:  More than four decades ago, seven Greensboro Sports Council members envisioned a high school basketball tournament that would raise funds for its participating schools. The HAECO Invitational was founded in 1976 as the Little 4.  At that time, the Big Four Atlantic Coast Conference schools, Duke, N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, competed in the Big 4 Tournament in the Greensboro Coliseum.  The HAECO Invitational was created to mirror the tournament that showcased North Carolina’s ACC teams.  In 1978, the tournament expanded to eight teams with Ragsdale, High Point Andrews, High Point Central and Thomasville High School joining the original four.  In 1979 and ’80, the tournament returned to its original schools before expanding to eight teams permanently in 1981.  The women’s side of the tournament began in 1980.  For a more complete look at tournament history, please visit https://www.HAECOInvitational.com/.

 

►        Contributions to the Schools:  Many things make the HAECO Invitational exceptional, but what makes it unique is that tournament proceeds are donated to charity and the participating schools.  Last year, the eight participating schools each received $12,500 meaning the tournament donated $100,000 to the schools.  In recent years, the Greensboro Sports Council made the following donations to the HAECO Invitational participating schools: 2008: $96,000, 2009: $80,000, 2010: $86,000, 2011: $100,000, 2012: $108,000, 2013: $112,000, 2014: $112,000, 2015: $112,000, 2016: 100,000.

 

►        Partners Help with Advertising: Several HAECO Invitational partners are helping advertise the tournament through their in-kind partnerships.  Fairway Outdoor Advertising is once again providing digital billboards showcasing the tournament.  The Greensboro News & Record, WFMY News 2, 98.7 Simon, 102 Jamz, 97.1, QMG and 93.1 The Wolf are advertising the tournament as in-kind partners. 

 

►        Corporate Partnership:  HAECO Invitational revenue comes from ticket sales and corporate partnerships; sales success contributes directly to how much money is donated to charities and the participating schools each year.  The Greensboro Sports Council is very active in raising funds for the tournament, but for more than a decade, participating schools have shared in the sales efforts.  Each school is soliciting a minimum of $1,500 in corporate partnerships.  HAECO Invitational partnership is among the most economical sports marketing opportunities available to Piedmont Triad companies. 

 

►        Charity:    In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the HAECO Invitational makes charitable contributions.  This year, outgoing HAECO Invitational chair Brett Weathersbee selected Backpack Beginnings for the tournament’s charitable donation.  Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to Greensboro Urban Ministries, Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test, the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, the Bryan Family YMCA, the Children’s Home Society, the Eastern Guilford High School Fund, the Joey Cheek Fund, North Carolina State Games, the Greensboro Aquatic Center’s ‘Learn to Swim’ program, The First Tee of the Triad, the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

 

►        Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout: The Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout, a halftime basketball shooting contest, returns to the HAECO Invitational this year.  The Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout will be conducted during each tournament game except for the two championship contests.  During halftime, a maximum of 50 people may purchase a Steak ‘N Shake Shooters Shootout ticket for $1 for one chance to shoot a free throw.  Those that make the shot will advance to the next round until one shooter remains on each end.  Those two shooters will shoot again to determine a winner for that game who earns a Steak ‘N Shake gift certificate for an order of Shooters (mini cheeseburgers) and a HAECO Invitational T-Shirt.  Winners from individual games do not advance to a winner’s competition; each halftime features its own complete competition.

 

►       Bill Lee Scholarship: The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants each year.  Since its inception in 2001, 65 high school seniors have now been awarded this scholarship which was established in memory of Bill Lee, a Greensboro native and resident who was a major supporter of local sports.  He was deeply involved with Greensboro’s minor league baseball efforts, basketball and golf.  The Greensboro Sports Council established the scholarship following Lee’s death in 2001.  Recipients are nominated by their schools, and the Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships.  Each nomination is considered with the following criteria:  40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic.  Four student-athletes receive a scholarship each year.

 

►        2016 Tournament Recap:  Greensboro Day School made tournament history in 2016 becoming the first school to win six-consecutive tournaments.  The top-seeded Bengals defeated Grimsley High School, Dudley High School and Northwest Guilford on the way to coach Freddy Johnson’s record 15th men’s title.  On the women’s side, the Northwest Guilford Vikings won their third-consecutive title defeating Grimsley, Dudley and Northwest Guilford High Schools on their way to their sixth tournament title.

 

►   Tournament Notes: 

■          The Greensboro Day School men won their sixth-consecutive tournament championship in 2016 and made tournament history along the way.  No other team has ever won six-consecutive titles.  Going back to their 2011 title, the Bengals have now won 18 consecutive HAECO Invitational games. 

■          Greensboro Day men’s coach Freddy Johnson is the only coach in tournament history who has won six-consecutive HAECO Invitational titles.  His six-year run follows the four-year run he enjoyed during 2005-08. Johnson has 15 HAECO Invitational titles – more than any other coach in tournament history.  Coach Johnson is a member of the North Carolina and Guilford County Sports Halls of Fame. 

■           The Greensboro Day School men have enjoyed an impressive presence in the HAECO Invitational championship game.  The Bengals have played for the title in 10 of the last 12 years and 18 of the last 25 years. 

■          The Page High School women (1988 – ’92), the Western Guilford women (1992-’95) and the Greensboro Day School men (2005-’08) are the only teams that have won four consecutive HAECO Invitational titles. 

■          The Greensboro Day School men lead the overall HAECO Invitational history with 15 tournament championships; Page High School leads the women’s tournament history with 13 tournament titles. 

■          Former Page High School coaches Luke McKeel, Deborah Jones and Kathy Turner won the Pirates’ 13 HAECO Invitational women’s championships.  McKeel won seven of the first nine tournaments, Jones won four including three straight from 2011-’13, and Turner won the other two Lady Pirate titles. 

■          Either Page High School or Northwest Guilford has played in every women’s championship game since 2003.  Page has played in five of the last eight, and Northwest has played in 11 of the last 14 including each of the last four. In addition, either the Lady Vikings or the Lady Pirates have won the last seven tournaments.

■          The Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings have played in the championship game in 11 of the last 15 years winning five times.  Coach Darlene Joyner joined the Vikings in 2002, and all of their championship-game appearances have come under Coach Joyner meaning she has made 11 appearances in the championship game in her 15 seasons as the Vikings’ coach.  Joyner was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

■          Page star Paris Kea became the first three-time MVP in tournament history in 2014.  Five players have done it twice, but the former Page Pirate is the first to do it three times. 

 

►        Women’s Stats:  The Page Pirates have won more women’s tournaments than any other school with 13 titles.  The Lady Pirates have played for the championship 18 times, also more than any other team. The Page women have won 72 percent of the championship games in which they have played. 

■ Championships                                      ■ Title Game Appearances

■    Page High School        - 13                 ■          Page High School                    - 18

■    Northwest Guilford      - 6                 ■          Northwest Guilford                - 11

■    Page High School          - 5                 ■          Smith High School                   - 10

■    Western Guilford         - 4                  ■          Dudley High School                - 9

■    Smith High School        - 3                  ■          Grimsley High School             - 7

■    Northeast Guilford      - 3                  ■          Western Guilford                    - 6

■    Dudley High School     - 1                  ■          Northeast Guilford                 - 5

■    Ragsdale High School  - 1                  ■          Northern Guilford                  - 2

                                                                       ■         Eastern Guilford                      - 2

                                                                       ■         Ragsdale High School              - 1

 

►        Men’s Stats: Greensboro Day School has won more men’s championships than any other school taking top honors 15 times.  The Bengals have won 79 percent of their title game appearances; Dudley High School and Greensboro Day School are tied for the most title-game appearances with 19. 

■ Championships                                      Title Game Appearances

■    Greensboro Day           - 15                  ■          Dudley High School                - 19

■    Dudley High School     - 10                  ■          Greensboro Day School         - 19

■    Page High School          - 8                    ■          Grimsley High School             - 13

■    Grimsley High School  - 6                    ■          Page High School                     - 13

■    Smith High School        - 2                    ■          Smith High School                    - 7

                                                                         ■          Northwest Guilford                 - 3

                                                                         ■          Northern Guilford                   - 2

                                                                         ■          Northeast Guilford                 - 2

                                                                         ■          Northern Guilford                   - 1 

                                                                         ■          Southeast Guilford                  - 1

                                                                         ■          Southwest Guilford                 - 1

                                                                         ■          Eastern Guilford                      - 1

                                                                         ■          Ragsdale High School             - 1

 

►        Coaching Statistics:

Women’s Wins by Coach:                                                   Men’s Wins by Coach:

-       Luke McKeel (PHS)                         7                                  - Freddy Johnson (GDS)          15

-       Darlene Joyner (NWG)                  6                                  - Mac Morris (PHS)                   7

-       Deborah Jones (PHS)                     4                                  - David Price (DHS)                  7

-       Ginger Moore (WG                        4                                  - Phil Weaver (GHS)                  4

-       Phil Weaver (GHS)                         3                                  - Bill Chambers (DHS)              1

-       Mike Bradley (NEG)                      2                                  - Jack Chatham (DHS)               1

-       Rick Hartsook (GHS)                     2                                  - Darren Corbett (GHS)           1

-       Kathy Turner (PHS)                       2                                  - Steve Hankins (DHS)              1

-       Kris Britton (DHS)                         1                                  - Robert Kent (PHS)                  1

-       Hank Bullard (SHS)                       1                                  - Reggie Peace (SHS)                 1

-       Jerry Fuqua (RHS)                         1                                  - Art Wade (SHS)                       1

-       Crystal Hazelwood (NEG)           1                                  - Bill Walton (GHS)                    1

-       Ashton Jeffries (SHS)                   1

-       Lou Roshelli (SHS)                         1

 

►        Winning Coaches:  Of the 16 men and women coaching in this year’s HAECO Invitational, only three have won the tournament.  Freddy Johnson won all 15 of his HAECO Invitational titles at Greensboro Day; Bill Chambers, who won the tournament in 1983 while coaching at Dudley, is now the Northern Guilford coach.  On the women’s side, only Darlene Joyner (NW Guilford) has won the HAECO.  She has six HAECO Invitational championships to her credit.

 

►        Welcome New Coaches: The HAECO Invitational welcomes two coaches making their first HAECO Invitational appearances:  Christopher Huntley (Grimsley women) and LaTasha McCarter (Smith women). Ed Johnson is the first-year coach for the Page women, but he is not new to the HAECO Invitational.

 

►        Overtime Championships:  The HAECO Invitational championship game has gone to overtime only three times, and all three involved the Greensboro Day School Bengals.  The first two were between Dudley and Greensboro Day.  In 1987, Greensboro Day beat Dudley 57-55 in Greensboro Day’s first HAECO Invitational appearance.  In 1992, the tables were turned as the Panthers beat the Bengals 66-63.  In 2013, the title tilt included the Bengals and Page High School; the second-seeded Bengals upset the top-seeded Pirates 53-51 after one extra stanza.

 

►        2017 Participating Schools:  Dudley High School, Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northern Guilford, Northwest Guilford, Page High School, Ragsdale High School and Smith High School. 

 

►        Tickets:  HAECO Invitational tickets are available through the participating schools or at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office.  Tournament books containing tickets for all games are $15.  Single-session tickets are $7 for the opening and semi-final rounds and $10 for championship day.  Single session tickets are only available at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center box office. 

 

►        2017 Women’s Seeds (Please see brackets below):

1.     Northwest Guilford

2.     Northern Guilford

3.     Page High School

4.     Dudley High School

5.     Ragsdale High School

6.     Greensboro Day School

7.     Smith High School

8.     Grimsley High School

  

►        2017 Men’s Seeds (Please see brackets below):

1.     Greensboro Day School

2.     Smith High School

3.     Page High School

4.     Dudley High School

5.     Northern Guilford

6.     Ragsdale Guilford

7.     Northwest Guilford

8.     Grimsley High School

 

The HAECO Invitational is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C.  Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight high schools located in Guilford County. The tournament is played at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council. For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.


GREENSBORO SPORTS COUNCIL AWARDS BILL LEE SCHOLARSHIPS TO FOUR GREENSBORO STUDENTS

For immediate release.                                                                                                 Dec. 12, 2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four Greensboro high school seniors were awarded the Bill Lee Scholarship during the news conference to announce seeding and first-round pairings for the 42nd annual  HAECO Invitational, the Greensboro Sports Council announced today.  The Council has awarded these $2,000 scholarships during its annual high school basketball tournament since 2001.  The 42nd annual HAECO Invitational is set for Dec. 26-28, 2017 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.

The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants each year.  All eight participating schools are invited to nominate student athletes; winners are the most-qualified applicants regardless of which school they represent.  Including the 2017 winners who are listed alphabetically below, 65 student athletes have won the Bill Lee Scholarship since the program’s inception. 

Greensboro Day School’s Mahlon Brady is a two-time captain on the basketball team and a three-time all-conference selection. The honor board and honor code committee member works with the Feed Club, Service without Borders, Backpack Beginnings and the school’s annual blood drive.  She volunteers with the National Honor Society, as a Camp Cheerio Counselor in training, an Anytown participant and a coach of the girls’ Bengal Basketball Academy.  She also took a week-long trip to work with Greensboro Day’s sister school in Nicaragua. She plans to attend Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina, Boston College, Franklin & Marshall, Tulane or Emory University and plans to pursue a career in the medical field. 

Jillian Heard from Page High School is a team captain, was named to the all-conference team and won the Pirate Award last season.  She is in the National Honor Society and the English National Honor Society and was nominated for the daughters of the American Revolution and Neese’s Sausage scholarships.  She won the Social Studies Award in 2016 and is a three-time winner of the Scholar-Athlete Award.  She participates in Young Life, the Anchor Mentor Program, the Interact Club as well as varsity Cross Country and Track & Field. She volunteers at St. Pius Church, Greensboro Urban Ministry and YMCA Camp Weaver. She plans to attend either the University of North Carolina or NC State University and hopes to pursue a career as an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Bio-Medical Engineer. 

Grimsley High School senior Rebecca Little is a co-captain who has been named to the all-conference team following each of the last two seasons and was the MVP last year when she won the Blackburn Coach’s Award and was named all-area honorable mention by the Greensboro News & Record.  She is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and a Morehead Cain School scholarship nominee, a member of the National Honor Society and a Guilford County Service Learning Diploma candidate.  She won the Grimsley High School Academic Excellence Award in 2014, ’15, ’16 and ’17 as well as the Grimsley Mathematics Department Award in 2015 and ’16.  She volunteers with the Girl Scouts, Upward Basketball, Kindergarten Readiness Camp, the YWCA Women’s Shelter and on First Baptist Church mission trips.  She plans to attend Duke University or the University of North Carolina; her career plans are uncertain.

Kassandra Robakiewicz from Northern Guilford High School is a two-time team captain who was named to the all-conference and Greensboro News & Record all-area teams following the last two seasons.  Last year, she was named co-MVP, made the HAECO Invitational all-tournament team and received the NCHSAA State Championship Sportsmanship Award.  She is in the National Honors Society, the National Art Honors Society and the Beta Club. She was named Mid-State 3A Academic All-Conference in each of the last three years and won the Highest GPA Award following her sophomore and junior years.  She volunteers at Camp Carefree, the Little Nighthawk Basketball Camp, Reading Buddies, Triple Lakes Trail Cleanup and Highway Cleanup.  She plans to attend either UNC-Wilmington or Clemson University before pursuing a career in either international business or as a sports dietician. 

Bill Lee was a Greensboro native and resident who was a major supporter of local sports.  The Bill Lee Memorial Scholarship was established by the Greensboro Sports Council following Lee’s death in 2001.  Recipients are nominated by the schools participating in the HAECO Invitational each year, and the Greensboro Sports Council awards the scholarships.  Each nomination is considered with the following criteria:  40% academic, 40% athletic and 20% civic. 

The HAECO Invitational is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C.  Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight Guilford County high schools playing at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.  Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council.  For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.


GREENSBORO SPORTS COUNCIL DISTRIBUTES $100,000 TO HAECO INVITATIONAL SCHOOLS

For immediate release.                                                                                    April 19, 2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro Sports Council donated $100,000 to the eight schools that participated in the 41st annual HAECO Invitational last December, the Council announced today.  In addition, the Sports Council donated $9,000 in scholarships and charitable contributions from tournament proceeds. The 42nd annual HAECO Invitational is set for Dec. 26-28, 2017 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. 

The $100,000 donation total works out to $12,500 for each of the eight participating schools.  In addition to the school donations, the Council awarded four $2,000 Bill Lee Scholarships, made a $1,000 donation to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, a $5,000 donation to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and a $1,000 donation to the Corrigan Faircloth Chapter of the National Football Foundation to sponsor a scholarship.

In recent years, the Greensboro Sports Council made the following donations to the HAECO Invitational participating schools following that year’s tournament:

2008: $96,000                                     2009: $80,000                                     2010: $86,000

2011: $100,000                                   2012: $108,000                                   2013: $112,000

2014: $112,000                                   2015: $112,000                                   2016: $100,000

“It’s great to be able to make these donations to our participating schools,” Greensboro Sports Council president Dodson Schenck said.  “Since it was founded in 1976, the HAECO Invitational mission has been to raise money for its participating schools.  In the early 2000s, we added the charitable component, and it’s gratifying to make charitable contributions and support our participating schools as we have for more than 40 years.  We thank our title sponsor, HAECO Americas, the many companies and individuals that help us fulfill our mission as well as our participating schools and the Greensboro Sports Council membership for their support.” 

The field for this year’s 42nd annual HAECO Invitational will feature men’s and women’s teams representing the same schools as last year: Dudley High School, defending men’s champion Greensboro Day School, Grimsley High School, Northern Guilford High School, defending women’s champion Northwest Guilford High School, Page High School, Ragsdale High School and Smith High School. 

The HAECO Invitational is an annual high school basketball tournament in Greensboro, N.C.  Founded in 1976 as the Little 4 Invitational, the tournament features men’s and women’s teams representing eight Guilford County high schools playing at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.  Tournament proceeds are donated to local charities and the participating schools; the HAECO Invitational is planned and implemented by the Greensboro Sports Council.  For more information, please visit www.HAECOInvitational.com and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit and www.facebook.com/HAECOInvitational.