The Great Western Shootout was already in the process of becoming one of the top high school basketball tournaments in the country but it just took a giant step in its progression when FreeTaxUSA.com signed a deal to become the title sponsor of the tournament that will take place at Orem High School on Dec. 5-7.
“The Great Western Shootout organizers have created an outstanding showcase of local and national talent. We are excited to partner with them to help this tournament continue its growth,” said Dane Kimber, President of FreeTaxUSA.com. “We are especially excited about the unique scholarship and community aspect of the tournament. More than just great basketball, it’s a great asset to our youth and to our community. FreeTaxUSA.com is proud to join as the title sponsor of the Great Western Shootout.”
The tournament will provide $10,000 in scholarship money to the four participating Utah teams that include Lone Peak, the defending national champions, along with American Fork, Bingham and Orem.
The four Utah teams will get the chance to see how they fare against four teams from around the country. Bishop O’Connell (Virginia) has consistently been one of the top programs in the nation and finished the season ranked No. 15 nationally. Denver East (Colorado) and Overland (Colorado) figure to be two of the top teams in the west and Foothill (Nevada) is a state title contender in Nevada.
The tournament features 12 players who have committed to play at Division I schools. Three of those players are committed to BYU. TJ Haws (Lone Peak), Dalton Nixon (Orem) and Ryan Andrus (American Fork) are future Cougars.
They will get the chance to play against some of the elite talent in the country.
Bishop O’Connell guard Romelo Trimble, who committed to the University of Maryland, is ranked in the top 50 by Rivals.com. Dominque Collier, last year’s Colorado Player of the Year and De’Ron Williams, a sophomore, who is one of the hottest recruits in the country and has already received an offer from Indiana.
“The Great Western Shootout started out as a high school event but quickly turned into a community event and now in just our third year, a national event,” said Golden Holt, tournament founder. “FreeTaxUSA.com is a national company who loves the idea of helping the community and being involved at the high school level. They wanted to partner up with us because they can see our commitment to grow the shootout to something very special.”
The deal with FreeTaxUSA.com is significant because as part of the package the tournament will be televised on KMYU on both Friday and Saturday. All the games will also be streamed live.
The Shootout has also landed a deal with 1280 The Zone, Vivint and Zion’s Bank.
“Our idea is to grow this event and make it bigger each year. I think we’ve done that with the addition of teams like Bishop O’Connell, who has a legendary program,” Holt said. “This year’s event includes a slam dunk and three-point contest along with a fireworks show and a dance that will be hosted by U-92 radio station that is open to the community.”
The tournament begins on Thursday, Dec. 5 with four games. Friday features Lone Peak vs. Bishop O’Connell along with Orem vs. Denver East, American Fork vs. Overland and Bingham vs. Foothill.
The schedule for Saturday will be determined on Friday.
Reserved seating tickets go on sale on Nov. 1. Fans can purchase reserved seating that will guarantee them premium seats for games that will likely sell out.
Last year’s matchup between Lone Peak and Orem sold out hours before the game in what was the most anticipated game of the season.
For more details about the tournament go to greatwesternshootout.com.