JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The second installment of the Fortegra High School 9:12 Invitational basketball tournament will return this winter, with defending champion Providence and four of the best teams from the Gateway Conference headlining the eight-team field.
The event announced on Wednesday morning that the Stallions would be joined by Episcopal, First Coast, Jackson, Mandarin, Paxon, Ponte Vedra and West Nassau. The tournament, presented by The CSI Companies, will be held at Episcopal from Dec. 12-14.
Games will again be streamed on News4Jax.com. The semifinals will be shown on tape delay and the championship televised live, both on CW17.
“We have a tremendous field for our second event, giving the best teams in the area a chance to showcase their programs on a big stage,” said Alan Verlander, founder and CEO of Airstream Ventures.
“The response to this event from the basketball community has been amazing. We look forward to another great event and appreciate all of our partners making it possible.”
The field for the 2019 event is a strong sampling of teams from around the area.
Jackson played for the Class 5A state championship last season. Paxon, led by star wing Isaiah Adams, enjoyed its best season since 1965 when it reached the Class 6A state semifinals. Both Mandarin and First Coast were district champs. And West Nassau has one of the top players in the country returning in junior guard Dallan Coleman.
“It’s great for us to play in a tournament in our city against the best competition on a big stage,” said Providence head coach Jim Martin. “We’ve played in tournaments around the country and this continues to grow into a major event with the caliber of teams playing in it this year.”
The tournament debuted last year, with Providence rolling through First Coast and Bolles, and then topping Bishop Kenny 66-27 for the championship.
High School 9:12 is an initiative created by Airstream Ventures last year that emphasizes core areas of academics, sports and life skills in schools across the First Coast. One of its main focuses is to promote and recognize students across the area, and to help prepare them for life after high school.