Fourteen of the high school teams descending upon Fort Myers are ranked in the preseason Grassroots Hoops Fab 50 National Rankings, including No. 1 Montverde Academy, which has the consensus No. 1 senior player in the nation, Ben Simmons.
“Not in my wildest dreams,” Pollock said of the Classic evolving into the nation’s top high school basketball tournament. “I wanted the tournament to go on for one more year, so John could play in it his senior year.”
Instead, Pollock and Wilkie created Classic Basketball, Inc., a non-profit organization. Pollock served for many years as the primary fundraiser and budget man for the tournament. Wilkie has served as the tournament director, selecting the teams from across the country.
Since Wilkie and Pollock combined forces, teams from 33 states and the District of Colombia have ventured to the City of Palms Classic.
Over the years, the Bahamas, Canada, England, Germany and this year Austria have fielded teams.