High Schools Set for Their Own Madness
Teams in DC tourney push boundaries, and not everyone approves
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 1:14 PM CDT
Findlay's Avery Bradley looks to shoot during a high school basketball game against Foothill in Henderson, Nev., Feb. 11, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A Washington-area basketball tournament for high school programs that operate outside the traditional mold is getting plenty of ESPN-generated publicity, the Post reports. It’s also sparked concerns about bringing the trappings of big-time athletics—near-global recruiting, travel, TV—to the high school level, with many of the teams representing schools that seem to have little mission beyond basketball.

Nevada’s Findlay College Prep, Virginia’s Oak Hill Academy, and Maryland’s Montrose Christian, among this weekend's eight-team ESPN National High School Invitational field, don’t participate in local leagues, are allowed to recruit players from practically any country, and set their own schedules. Among the critics is an athletic conference commissioner, who calls it “a move away from keeping that pure amateur sport level.”