In the Pacific Northwest, Martin Luther King Day is not only a day to honor the late civil rights leader, it’s a day to also enjoy some great basketball.
It starts with the King Holiday Hoopfest, which has moved to Bellevue College after being played at Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington in previous years. The Hoopfest begins at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 20.
This year’s tournament includes Jackson, the Associated Press’ No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class 4A, Bellevue, Federal Way, Bothell, Lincoln and Columbia Christian (Portland, Ore.).
The Timberwolves continue their tough schedule with a showdown against 3A’s third-ranked team, Lincoln, of Tacoma, at 6 p.m. Lincoln recently lost its first game of the season against second-ranked Wilson. Following Jackson’s game, Issaquah takes on Columbia Christian, which Jackson beat 68-48 at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic over the Christmas break.
In Kent, the King Showcase at the Showare Center includes two local teams in the Arlington and Mountlake Terrace boys teams. The Eagles take on Newport at 10:30 a.m. and the Hawks face off against Central Catholic, of Portland, Ore., at 3:30 p.m.
Maybe the best group of great games set for MLK Day is at Garfield H.S. with the first annual Unity in the Community Showcase, which is put on Brandon Roy’s Roy Foundation. The No. 1-ranked team in 3A, Rainier Beach, takes on eighth-ranked O’Dea at 5 p.m., with the 4A second-ranked team and host, Garfield, battling the 3A fourth-ranked Wilson in the nightcap at 7 p.m. The first game of the day is also a good one with eight-ranked (4A) Todd Beamer taking on Portland, Ore.-power Jefferson.