It’s starting to gain momentum and develop into a tradition: celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with basketball tournaments. What began largely among schools in the Minneapolis and St. Paul conferences has grown as more programs see the chance to use basketball as a conduit to honor America’s most revered civil rights leader.
Two showcase tournaments, one for each gender, stand out Monday above the rest.
Boys’ basketball fans can hit Minneapolis’ Patrick Henry High School for a 12-team Martin Luther King Classic.
Here’s the schedule: Cristo Rey Jesuit vs. Blake, 10 a.m.; Seymour (Wis.) vs. Edina, 11:45 a.m.; Hill-Murray vs. Minneapolis Henry, 1:30 p.m.; Holy Family vs. Minnehaha Academy, 3:15 p.m.; Wayzata vs. St. Croix Lutheran, 5 p.m.; and Centennial vs. Minnetonka, 6:45 p.m.
St. Catherine University in St. Paul and the Minnesota Fury AAU basketball program are sponsoring the MLK Day Girls’ Basketball Classic. Fourteen teams from across the state will be in action at St. Catherine’s Butler Center.
The schedule: Chanhassen vs. St. Paul Humboldt, 10 a.m.; Rochester Lourdes vs. Farmington, 11:40 a.m.; Shakopee vs. White Bear Lake, 1:20 p.m.; Bloomington Jefferson vs. Hutchinson, 3 p.m.; Mankato Loyola vs. Somerset (Wis.), 4:40 p.m.; Dover-Eyota vs. Winona, 6:20 p.m.; Kasson-Mantorville vs. Holy Angels, 8 p.m.
Other noteworthy games and meets across the metro this week
Tuesday: Hopkins at Minneapolis North, 7 p.m.
Friday: Cretin-Derham Hall at Woodbury, 7:15 p.m.
Tuesday: Shakopee at Eastview, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Hopkins at Minnetonka, 7 p.m.
Hill-Murray’s brutal week. The Pioneers (11-4-1, No. 10 2A), fresh off a 1-0 victory over St. Thomas Academy in which goalie Jake Begley stopped all 33 shots he faced, host three games at Aldrich Arena this week, two of them against teams ranked in the top five in Class 2A. They play No. 2 Blaine (13-3) Tuesday night and No. 5 Stillwater (13-1-1) Saturday, sandwiched around a Metro East conference game with Henry Sibley. All three games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Monday: Lakeville South at Eagan, 2:15 p.m.
Tuesday: Breck vs. St. Paul United (at Drake Arena), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Centennial at Blake, 7:30 p.m.; Minnetonka at Edina, 3 p.m.
• Park Wolfpack Invitational: Hopkins, Wayzata, Roseville, Stillwater, St. Paul Highland Park, Lakeville South, Brainerd, Winona Senior, Rosemount and Park of Cottage Grove. 11 a.m.