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December 23, 2009

VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge

MESA, AZ (TBD, 2009) - The former Arizona Basketball Challenge will now be known as the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge, through a partnership with the Mesa Covention and Visitor's Bureau ~ Sports Tourism & Development.

The third annual holiday event will once again feature the top programs throughout the state of Arizona and from around the country. Games will be held at Mountain View High School in Mesa from December 28-31, 2009. Twelve Arizona high schools are included in the 16-team field, which also includes teams from California, Illinois and Nevada.

Each team is guaranteed four games with the last day of game match-ups being handpicked by event organizers to provide the top entertainment for fans.

2009 Arizona teams participating include Chandler (Chandler), Dobson (Mesa), Estrella Foothills (Goodyear), Highland (Gilbert, AZ), Horizon (Scottsdale), Mesquite (Gilbert), Mountain Pointe (Phoenix), Mountain View (Mesa), Red Mountain (Mesa), Santa Rita (Tucson), St. Mary's (Phoenix) and Sunnyslope (Phoenix). Out-of-state teams include Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas, NV), De La Salle (Concord, CA), North Lawndale College Prep (Chicago, IL) and Ocean View (Huntington Beach, CA).

"Mesa Sports Tourism & Development is excited about showcasing what the City of Mesa has to offer to the teams and fans from around the country that will attend the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge in December," said Aaron Muth, Sports Tourism & Development Manager for the Mesa CVB. "This is an idyllic event as it allows Arizona High Schools to stay in state saving valuable financial resources during tough economic times, while boosting Mesa's local economy with out of state teams and most notably providing the student athletes a vehicle for outstanding athletic competition that will lead to a lifetime of positive memories. At the end of the day, it is just another example of why Mesa is a city for good sports."

Five teams participating either won or were runner-up in their respective classification in their state including Estrella Foothills (State Champions-AZ), St. Mary's (State Champions-AZ), Sunnyslope (State Champions-AZ), Ocean View (State Runner Up-CA) and Santa Rita (State Runner Up-AZ).

"Over the last two years we have had incredible basketball talent on display for the people of Mesa to enjoy during the holiday season" said Dr. Steve Hogen, Mesa Public Schools District Athletic Director & Co-Director of the Basketball Challenge. "By having the City of Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau step up and put their name on this event speaks volumes of their commitment to help distinguish this event and make Mesa a national stop on the holiday basketball season."

The 2009 VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge will feature numerous top tier players including Anthony Brown (Huntington Beach-Stanford), Michael Thompson (Canyon Springs-Undecided), Paul Bunch (North Lawndale College Prep-Undecided), Corey Hawkins (Estrella Foothills-Arizona State), Avery Johnson (Huntington Beach-Undecided), John McArthur (De La Salle-Santa Clara), Terrell Stoglin (Santa Rita-Maryland), Jermaine Winfield (North Lawndale College Prep-Undecided), Paul Newendyke (Red Mountain-Grand Canyon), Asaad Woods (Mountain View-Undecided), and Royce Woolridge (Sunnyslope-Kansas).

Recent participants of the event include Nate Austin (BYU), Ryan Evans (Wisconsin), Sir Christian Williams (Rider), Tyler Haws (BYU), Steven Morin (Grand Canyon), Nuno Muandumba (Lamar/Westwind Prep International), Travis Kelce (Cincinnati), Brendon Lavender (Arizona), Nathan Murphy (UC-San Diego), Taylor Rohde (Arizona State), Nate Van Weelden (Point Loma), Chris Johnson (South Kent Prep School), Charlie Meo (Southwestern), Nick Witherill (Washington State/Grand Canyon) and Jeff Withey (Arizona/Kansas).

Tickets for the VisitMesa.com Basketball Challenge are $30 for a tournament pass or $8 per session at the door.

For more information, please visit the official web site, www.arizonabasketballchallenge.org.

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