The holidays in Fort Worth signify an annual pilgrimage for thousands of fans, players, coaches and scouts from across the nation that flock to the Whataburger Basketball tournament. The nationally-renowned tournament, now in its 53rd year, is one of the most anticipated events in high school basketball featuring 48 boys’ and girls’ high school basketball teams from across the nation.
This year’s tournament is set for Monday, December 27, through Wednesday, December 29, and boasts 15 teams ranked in the top 20 in the state by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC). Competing for the first time this year is Little Rock Park View, ranked number one in Arkansas and Trinity Catholic, ranked number one in Kentucky. The tournament’s 2009 orange division champions, Flower Mound Marcus, will return to defend their title.
“The Whataburger Basketball Tournament is one of the finest in the country and gives teams from all over Texas and the nation the opportunity to compete in front of major college scouts in a high spirited arena,” Tournament Director Tom Rogers said. “We look forward to seeing the passionate fans and die-hard competition and expect some heated match-ups this year.”
Sports Illustrated and USA Today have called the Whataburger Basketball Tournament one of the nation’s top five holiday high school tournaments. In the past, the tournament has featured high profile teams from across the nation like Oak Hill Academy and Los Angeles Crenshaw. Not only are players featured, but coaches and scouts scope out talent and future potential for colleges like the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Texas at Austin.
“Whataburger is proud to support this tournament because of the unparalleled opportunities it provides for young athletes from communities large and small,” said Preston Atkinson, Whataburger President and COO. “The true joy in this tournament comes from celebrating the players’ hard work, their dedication to the sport and the fans’ pride in their teams.”
The Whataburger Basketball Tournament began as a small fundraiser for Fort Worth’s West Side chapter of the Lions Club and is now one of the most anticipated events in high school basketball featuring 48 boys’ and now girls’ high school basketball teams in three divisions, orange and two blue divisions.
Each division plays at a different site in the Fort Worth area: boys’ teams in the orange division play at the 5,000-seat W.G. Thomas Coliseum of Birdville Independent School District; the boys’ blue division plays at the 2,000-seat Haltom High School; the girls’ blue plays at Saginaw High School’s 2,600-seat gym.
Ticket information: Individual tickets: $6 (Monday, Dec. 27); $7 (Dec 28) and $7 (Dec. 29) Season Pass: $17 for access to one venue for all three days; All Venue: $30 for access to all three venues for all three days; Tickets are available at various price levels at all venues during the tournaments.
Participating teams follow below. For additional tournament history, team information, brackets and specific player statistics, please visit www.whataburger-bbt.org. During the tournament, scores, game schedules and scores will be updated on this site, as well as Facebook and Twitter, as they are available.
Family-owned Whataburger has focused on its fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950, when company founder Harmon Dobson opened his first Whataburger restaurant in Corpus Christi. The small, wooden stand sold the enormous burgers for 25 cents each, and before the first week was out, lines stretched down the street. Today, the company has nearly 700 locations in 10 states and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Visit www.whataburger.com for more information on the company.