When Bosco Tech Coach Jorge Calienes first envisioned the Bosco Tech Summer Hoop Spectacular three years ago, he hoped it would become one of the premier summer high school basketball tournaments in Southern California.
Since then, it has matched his expectations--and then some.
The third annual tournament, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday at Bosco Tech in Rosemead, has most of the top teams in the CIF Southern and L.A. City sections competing, plus powerhouses from Fresno and Oregon.
In addition, the winners of the first two tournaments--Mater Dei in 1983 and Glendale in 1984--went on to reach the CIF finals. "You can pretty much rate the teams for next year by this tournament," Calienes said.
"If a team can really do well in this tournament," he said, "it usually brings them a lot of attention, both nationally and locally. When Glendale won the tournament, that's when they started to receive recognition as one of the best teams in Southern California."
This year's tournament resembles a who's who of high school basketball in Southern California. The top-seeded schools are Orange County powers Ocean View and Mater Dei, the two teams that met for the CIF 5-A Division championship last year, and Fairfax, which won the L.A. City 3-A Division championship.
That is not to mention other traditional Southern California powerhouses including Long Beach Poly, Cleveland, Santa Monica, Carson, Banning and St. Bernard plus Central California power Edison of Fresno and highly regarded Corvallis, Ore.
"I think that out of the top 20 teams (in the CIF) we normally have about 17 here," Calienes said. "It's practically everybody (in Southern California) and by adding two teams from outside the area, that has just improved the level of competition even more."
Calienes also attempted to lure national powers Little Rock of Denver, Colo., and Blanchard of Seattle, Wash., to the tournament but said both already had previous commitments.
State Champ Declined
About the only top-ranked team from Southern California that is not competing in the tournament is defending state champion Crenshaw, which has turned down invitations all three years.
"We've invited Crenshaw every year, but (Crenshaw Coach) Willie West said his team always disbands to play in all-star leagues at this time of the year, so it's hard to get them together," Calienes said.
With or without Crenshaw, it's a powerhouse field of teams.
"This is a very demanding tournament," Calienes said. "You have to beat too many tough teams along the way to get to the championship."
Opening-round games Wednesday were Inglewood vs. Arcadia, Simi Valley vs. St. Bernard, Banning vs. St. Anthony, Carson vs. Pomona, Morningside vs. Verbum Dei, Muir vs. Bosco Tech, Culver City vs. Glendale and Pasadena vs. Loyola.
Top-seeded Ocean View and Mater Dei also started on Wednesday and Fairfax, Cleveland, Edison (Fresno), Long Beach Poly, Santa Monica and Corvallis, will play their first games Friday.
Many Top Players
Besides having more than its share of outstanding teams, the tournament also will have plenty of individual standouts.
Among the San Gabriel Valley players competing, there is 6-8 center Stacey Augmon of Muir, 6-5 forwards Derwin Collins and Tyrone Greer of Pomona, 6-5 center Raynell Tillis of Pasadena and 6-6 center Carlos Carrillo of Bosco Tech.
Other top players competing include 6-6 center Ricky Butler and 6-1 guard Blaine Debrouwer of Ocean View, 6-8 forward Trevor Wilson of Cleveland, 6-7 forward Sean Higgins of Fairfax, and 6-8 centers Elden Campbell of Morningside, Don McLean of Simi Valley and Stuart Thomas of Mater Dei.
With players like that, it's no wonder why the tournament also has become a haven for college scouts, many of whom will watch the Bosco Tech tournament this weekend before attending the talent-rich Superstars Basketball Camp July 7-11 at UC Santa Barbara.
"We have coaches coming here from all over the country," Calienes said. "Just this morning I talked to the coach of Columbia and I told him the starting times of all the games and he was going to relay it to other coaches back there. This has become a good stop-over tournament for scouts who are going on to the Superstars."