18th Annual MLK Basketball Classic Schedule

The McKale Memorial Center is set to host another MLK Basketball Classic. (AllSportsTucson Photo)

The schedule for the 18th Annual MLK Basketball Classic is set for next January with seven games taking place at the McKale Memorial Center located on the University of Arizona campus.

The Tucson version of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Basketball Classic is the longest continually running event in Arizona with all teams taking a break in 2021 due to COVID state-wide restrictions. This season, the MLK Classic will be held on Monday, Jan. 17 beginning at 10 a.m.


The 7 p.m. marquee game is set with the Salpointe boys taking on Nogales. Longtime Salpointe assistant Eric Castillo took the program over after legendary coach Jim Reynolds retired following last season. The Lancers went 18-3 last year with a semifinal finish after bringing home the program’s first 4A state title in 2020.

Longtime Apache coach Ricardo “Bambi” De La Riva returns after an 11-5 outing last season, where the Apaches made an appearance in the 4A state playoffs for the fourth year in a row. The Apaches won their fifth program championship in 2011.

The MLK Classic games count towards power points and are considered regular season AIA games.

Monday, January 17 at McKale Memorial Center

Boys: Desert Christian vs. Baboquivari, 10 a.m.
Girls: Sabino vs. Pusch Ridge, 11:30 a.m.
Boys: Tanque Verde vs. Safford, 1 p.m.
Girls: Flowing Wells vs. Pueblo, 2:30 p.m.
Boys: Palo Verde vs. Sahuaro, 4 p.m.
Girls: Tucson vs. Catalina Foothills, 5:30 p.m.
Boys: Salpointe vs. Nogales, 7 p.m.


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee and he earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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