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CHICAGO — Today Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined student athletes, coaches and community members to announce the Chicago Elite Classic will return to Chicago as an annual event to showcase top students athletes from across the county. The high school basketball tournament attracted more than 10,000 fans, in its first year.
“From Isaiah Thomas to Derrick Rose, from Kevin Garnett to Jabari Parker, when sports fans and student-athletes from around the country think of great high school basketball, they think of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This annual event will highlight Chicago’s commitment to High School basketball, which unites our City and showcases the community and competitive spirit that make Chicago’s student-athletes so successful.”
Two of the city’s most prolific high school basketball programs, Simeon Career Academy and Whitney Young High School, teamed up with the City of Chicago to host the most outstanding basketball programs in the Chicago area as well as top teams from California, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio and Utah.
“We were extremely pleased with the inaugural Chicago Elite Classic,” Simeon head coach Rob Smith said. “The teams that came to Chicago were some of the best the country has to offer and the level of basketball was competitive and entertaining. We are already planning next year’s match-ups and anticipate another exciting Chicago Elite Classic in 2013.
“The partners and supporters of the Chicago Elite Classic were so important to this year’s success,” Whitney Young head coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “We were honored that the City of Chicago and local businesses gathered together to help us make the event an enjoyable experience for all involved. We look forward to bringing the country’s best high school teams in the country back to our great city next year.”
“It was awesome to be able to host all the Chicago Elite Classic teams in our city,” Jabari Parker, a senior at Simeon, said. “We hope each player, coach and family member enjoyed Chicago. We really appreciate them making the effort to come to our hometown. I am very happy that the Chicago Elite Classic will become an annual event.”
“We had a great time last weekend at the Chicago Elite Classic,” Jahlil Okafor, a junior at Whitney Young said. “It was an honor for all of those great teams to come to Chicago and be part of the event. I am very excited that we will be able to host a second Chicago Elite Classic next year.”