Graphic by Bryce EscobarIt's 12 days until one of the nation's biggest and brightest basketball tournaments tips off — the 120-team MaxPreps Holiday Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. — and we give to you 12 states that each play a different style of hoop.
File photo by James ConradThe 12 states represented in the tournament are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Sunnyslope sharpshooter Michael Humphrey is the top rated player out of Arizona at the 2013 MaxPreps Holiday Classic.
If this doesn't extend the tournament's scope far enough, there are teams too from Australia and Canada.
The 11-division coed tournament runs Dec. 26-30 with newly-opened and lavish Rancho Mirage (Calif.) serving as the event's focal point.
See tournament preview and all entries
"Without question, we are hosting the largest and most competitive multi-leveled high school basketball tournament in the United States this year," tournament co-director Wayne Merino said. "We have put together the most competitive tournament in the 11-year history of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic."
The divergence of states is displayed most in the highlighted 24-team Invitational Division, which boasts 15 programs that won 20 games or more in 2012-13. Championship contenders from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Oregon, Missouri, Utah and Washington will join a strong contingent of in-state squads, that includes defending champion Westchester (Los Angeles).
See coverage/results from 2012 MaxPreps Holiday Classic
That division will all be played at Rancho Mirage, which the school's head coach and and tournament co-direction Rob Hanmer said: "Rancho Mirage is a beautiful new facility and perfect setting to host a high-level basketball tournament like the MaxPreps Holiday Classic."