For immediate release.                                                                             Dec. 19, 2018


GREENSBORO, N.C. – With just a week remaining until the 43rd annual HAECO Invitational tips off, four Greensboro high school seniors received the Bill Lee Scholarship, the Greensboro Sports Council announced today.  The Council began awarding these $2,000 scholarships during its annual high school basketball tournament in 2001.  The 43rd annual HAECO Invitational is set for Dec. 26-28, 2018 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 2018 winners who are listed alphabetically below, 73 student athletes have won the Bill Lee Scholarship since the program’s inception.  The following students will be recognized during the HAECO Invitational Championship games on Friday, Dec. 28:

Eman Carter ranks 36th in her class of 427 at Page High School where she is a captain on the women’s basketball team.  She is in the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Service Learning Club, IB Mentoring Program, Anchor Club, Greensboro Youth Council and Athletic Training Student Aid.  She volunteers at Service Learning/Leo Club, Cone Health and the National Honors Society.  She hopes to attend Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or East Carolina University and is considering a career as a physical therapist, a physician’s assistant or an athletic trainer.

William Clem ranks 38th in his class of 428 at Page High School and is in the National Honor Society.  He is a captain on the men’s basketball team and an Eagle Scout.  He participates in the Spirit Club, the Student Council, the Beautification Club, the Pep Club and the Fishing Club.  He volunteers at the Boy Scouts, GGB, ARC of Greensboro and the National Honors Society.  He hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State University or the University of South Carolina and is considering a career in business, real estate, engineering or law. 

Steven Key is a captain on the Greensboro Day School basketball team.  He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been included on the “Head’s List” (grade average of 90 or above) following every semester of high school.  He participates on the Honor Board, Service Without Borders, the Ambassador’s Club, the Honor Code Committee and also plays soccer and baseball.  He volunteers on the First Baptist Church Youth Choir, Vacation Bible School – First Baptist Church, Youth Choir Mission Trips to Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., and Hot Dish and Hope. He hopes to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or NC State University and is considering a career in engineering or medicine.

Amy Rule played on NCHSAA State Championship teams for Northern Guilford High School in 2017 and ’18 after finishing second in 2016.  She ranks 33rd in her class of 307 and is in the NCHSAA Leadership Conference and Reading Buddies Club while serving as a school ambassador, a service learning ambassador and NHS Peer Tutor.  She volunteers at Camp Carefree, Reading Buddies, Beta Club Highway Cleanup, Northern Guilford ‘lil Nighthawk Camp and Youth For Christ Mission Trips.  She hopes to attend Clemson University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or the University of South Carolina and plans to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse or a veterinarian.

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 presented 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 and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.

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Contact:         Rob Goodman, 3-G Sports, LLC                                              

Office: (336) 299-4321                                                         

E-mail:                                                                            HI 18-03


Copyright © 2018 3-G Sports, LLC, All rights reserved.

43rd Annual HAECO Invitational Pre-Tournament Notes

Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center; December 26-28, 2018

For Immediate Release.                                                          Dec. 13, 2018


►        HAECO Invitational Pairings: Due to inclement weather, the Dec. 11 HAECO Invitational Pairings Lunch was cancelled, and pairings are being announced today. Once again, the defending champions will attempt to hold serve as this year’s top seeds. The four-time defending women’s champions, the Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings return as the top seed and will meet the eighth-seeded Smith Golden Eagles.

Greensboro Day School returns as the No. 1 seed and the seven-time defending champion. The Bengals open with a first-round matchup with the Northern Guilford Nighthawks. The complete first-round pairings and tournament brackets are available at


►        Opening-Round Court Assignments: New this year, both top seeds will play their opening-round games on court No. 1. The top half of both the men’s and women’s brackets will open play on court No. 1 with the bottom half of both brackets opening play on court No. 2.


►        HAECO Americas and Aviation Careers:  As part of its effort to expose Piedmont Triad high school students to 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 Americas 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. In 2017, 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. 12, 2019 at HAECO Americas at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Winning teams in the four semifinal games will receive additional information after their semifinal victories


►        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, 2017: $100,000.


►        Charity:   In addition to making its donations to the participating schools, the HAECO Invitational makes charitable contributions. This year, outgoing HAECO Invitational chair Chris Lowe selected Youth Focus for the tournament’s charitable donation. A powerful collaboration of medical professionals, therapists, administrators, and volunteers, Youth Focus offers substance abuse counseling, foster care, young women’s housing, counseling, emergency housing, school and educational groups, some covered by insurance or Medicaid and others available free of charge. For more information, please visit

Past tournament proceeds have been contributed to Backpack Beginnings, 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.


►        Follow the HAECO: The HAECO Invitational is on social media – follow the HAECO on Twitter: @HAECOInvit and on Facebook:


►  Bill Lee Scholarship: The Bill Lee Scholarship is awarded to four HAECO Invitational participants   each year. Since its inception in 2001, 73 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.


►        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. WFMY News 2, 98.7 Simon, 102 Jamz, 97.1, QMG and 93.1 The Wolf are advertising the tournament as in-kind partners.


►        Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes: Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes, a halftime

basketball shooting contest, returns to the HAECO Invitational this year. Steak ‘N Shake Shootin’ For Shakes 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 Shootin’ For Shakes 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 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.


►        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.


►        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

►        2017 Tournament Recap: Greensboro Day School made tournament history in 2017 becoming the first school to win seven-consecutive tournaments. The top-seeded Bengals defeated Grimsley High School, Northern Guilford and Smith High School on the way to coach Freddy Johnson’s record 16th men’s title. On the women’s side, the Northwest Guilford Vikings won their fourth-consecutive title defeating Grimsley, Ragsdale and Northern Guilford High Schools on their way to their sixth tournament title.


► Tournament Notes:

■               The Greensboro Day School men won their seventh-consecutive tournament championship in 2017 and made tournament history along the way. No other team has ever won seven- consecutive titles. Going back to their 2011 title, the Bengals have now won 21 consecutive HAECO Invitational games.

■               Greensboro Day men’s coach Freddy Johnson is the only coach in tournament history who has won seven-consecutive HAECO Invitational titles. His seven-year run follows the four-year run he enjoyed during 2005-08. Johnson has 16 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 12 of the last 14 years and 19 of the last 26 years.

■               The Page High School women (1988 – ’92), the Western Guilford women (1992-’95), the Greensboro Day School men (2005-’08) and the Northwest Guilford women (2014-’17) are the only teams that have won four consecutive HAECO Invitational titles.

■               The Greensboro Day School men lead the overall HAECO Invitational history with 16 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 nine, and Northwest has played in 12 of the last 15 including each of the last five. In addition, either the Lady Vikings or the Lady Pirates have won the last eight tournaments.

■               The Northwest Guilford Lady Vikings have played in the championship game in 12 of the last 15 years winning seven 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 12 appearances in the championship game in her 16 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 only the former Page Pirate has done 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.

  ■ Championships

■     Page High School - 13

■     Northwest Guilford - 7

■     Page High School - 5

■     Western Guilford - 4

■     Smith High School - 3

■     Northeast Guilford - 3

■     Dudley High School - 1

■     Ragsdale High School - 1

■  Title Game Appearances

■       Page High School - 18

■       Northwest Guilford - 12

■       Smith High School - 10

■       Dudley High School - 9

■       Grimsley High School - 7

■       Western Guilford - 6

■       Northeast Guilford - 5

■       Northern Guilford - 2

■       Eastern Guilford - 2

►        Men’s Stats: Greensboro Day School has won more men’s championships than any other school taking top honors 16 times in 20 title-game appearances.



■     Greensboro Day - 16

■     Dudley High School - 10

■     Page High School - 8

■     Grimsley High School - 6

■     Smith High School - 2 

■  Title Game Appearances

■      Greensboro Day School - 20

■      Dudley High School - 19

■      Grimsley High School - 13

■      Page High School - 13

■      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:

-     Darlene Joyner (NWG) - 7

-     Luke McKeel (PHS) - 7 

-     Deborah Jones (PHS) - 4

-     Ginger Moore (WG) - 4 

-     Phil Weaver (GHS) - 3 

-     Mike Bradley (NEG) - 2 

-     Rick Hartsook (GHS) - 2

-     Kathy Turner (PHS) - 2

-     Kris Britton (DHS) - 1

-     Hank Bullard (SHS) - 1

-     Jerry Fuqua (RHS) - 1

-     Crystal Hazelwood (NEG) - 1 

-     Ashton Jeffries (SHS) - 1

-     Lou Roshelli (SHS) - 1

Men’s Wins by Coach:

- Freddy Johnson (GDS) - 16

- Mac Morris (PHS) - 7

- David Price (DHS) - 7 

- Phil Weaver (GHS) - 4

- Bill Chambers (DHS) - 1

- Jack Chatham (DHS) - 1

- Darren Corbett (GHS) - 1

- Steve Hankins (DHS) - 1

- Robert Kent (PHS) - 1

- Reggie Peace (SHS) - 1

- Art Wade (SHS) - 1

- Bill Walton (GHS) - 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 16 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 seven HAECO Invitational championships to her credit.


►        Welcome New Coaches: The HAECO Invitational welcomes two coaches making their first HAECO Invitational appearances: Mara Montana (Greensboro Day women), James Atkinson (Ragsdale men) and Michael Patterson (Smith women).


►        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.


► 2018 Women’s Seeds (Brackets are available at the link):

  1. Northwest Guilford

  2. Ragsdale High School

  3. Northern Guilford

  4. Dudley High School

  5. Greensboro Day School

  6. Page High School

  7. Grimsley High School

  8. Smith High School


► 2018 Men’s Seeds (Brackets are available at the link):

  1. Greensboro Day School

  2. Northwest Guilford

  3. Smith High School

  4. Page High School

  5. Dudley High School

  6. Ragsdale High School

  7. Grimsley High School

  8. Northern Guilford


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 and follow the event on Twitter: @HAECOinvit.



Contact:     Rob Goodman, 3-G Sports, LLC

Office: (336) 299-4321


HI 18-02

Copyright © 2018 3-G Sports, LLC, All rights reserved.