Courtesy of Walter Pinion

The fourth annual Hilton Invitational takes place this Friday and Saturday at Norcross High School and will feature 13 of the best local and national teams competing at the House of Blue. Defending boys champions Norcross (AAAAA), Columbia (AAA) and GAC (AA) will take part as will a host of ranked Georgia squads including Wheeler, Harrison, Berkmar, Archer and South Gwinnett. National powers Dr. Phillips High School (Fla.) and Orr Academy (Ill.) will join North Carolina powers United Faith Christian Academy, Olympic High School and Charlotte Christian. The full schedule can be found at

Norcross head coach Jesse McMillan called the Hilton Invitational the Norcross boys basketball program's pride and joy. "In just a few short years it has become the top-rated, post-holiday showcase in the Southeast." He noted that it was not had to schedule the field as it almost sets itself. "We are inundated with requests from all over the east coach and even from midwest and west coast teams."

The Norcross program has a rich history as does the House of Blue, and McMillan said he is very easy to convince people to come to Atlanta to play. "It's easy to set a good field when you can pick from 60 or 70 teams."

McMillan believes that the key to a good Hilton Invitational is the local teams involved, and the 2012 field could be the best ever. "When you can put Wheeler, Columbia, Berkmar, GAC and others on the floor at the same event, it is going to create a lot of excitement and a lot of Georgia pride." Last season's Miller Grove/Dr. Krop game was a memorable one.
"This year I think the Columbia/United Faith and Wheeler/Olympic games will be some fantastic basketball!" McMillan said. He also stated he is already getting requests for the 2013 Hilton Invitational.