In April of 2014, one of the Acadiana area’s biggest basketball fans and radio personality “Big Dave” Thibodeaux died of a heart attack.
It only seemed natural that a top-notch area basketball tournament would soon be named in his honor.
Northside High coach James and Ross Rix decided it was time.
Beginning on Wednesday, the Big Dave Classic will feature a talented 10-team field, featuring some of the state’s elite programs and a state championship team from Austin, Texas.
The field consists of Peabody, Washington-Marion, Southern Lab, Madison Prep, Lafayette High, New Iberia, St. Louis, Hamilton Christian, St. Stephen’s from Texas and Northside High.
The championship game will be televised on Cox4.
That’s just the beginning of all the unique aspects of this scheduled event.
Two former Northside High coaches will be participating in the tournament, including Rick LeBato at St. Louis and Devin Clark at Southern Lab.
Those coaches will join longtime Northside High coach Felix Johnson in being honored during Thursday night’s schedule.
On Friday, Big Dave’s family, including his wife Rose Thibodeaux, will be honored.
On Saturday, Northside High’s 2006 state championship team, which was coached by LeBato, will be honored.
The event will also feature a 4 p.m. tipoff reception at the Ramada with former Teurlings Catholic coach and Breaux Bridge mayor Jake Dale Delhomme will be the guest speaker.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, there will be an invitation-only brunch with former UL and LSU assistant coach Butch Pierre was the guest speaker.
As for the actual tournament, the field is loaded with teams capable of winning the tournament.
“It would be tough to pick a favorite,” Vikings coach Ross Rix said. “I guess you’d have to say Madison Prep.”
Madison Prep is led by Josh Anderson and Josh LeBlanc.
Meanwhile, Peabody’s Cedric Russell is a 2017 LSU commitment. Washington-Marion has a high-flying star in current 4A state championship high jumper Christian Edwards.
St. Louis is led by McNeese State signee Kelvin Henry.
St. Stephen’s will bring 6-9 forward Jarrett Allen, who has been offered by the likes of Kansas, Kentucky and Texas.
St. Stephen’s is coached by Lamont King, who was a member of Big Dave’s AAU basketball program Team Louisiana out of Waterproof.
Big Dave Classic
(At Northside High)c
6 p.m. – Madison Prep vs. Hamilton Christian
7:30 p.m. – New Iberia vs. Southern Lab
4 p.m. – Washington-Marion vs. MPrep-HC winner
5:30 p.m. – Peabody vs. NISH-Slab winner
7 p.m. – Lafayette High vs. St. Stephens
8:30 p.m. – Northside vs. St. Louis
4 p.m. – Mprep-HC vs. NISH-Slab losers
5:30 p.m. – Nor-STL vs. Pea-NISH-Slab losers
7 p.m. – LHS-SS vs. Pea-NISH-Slab winners
8:30 p.m. – WM-MP-HC vs. Nor-STL winners
1 p.m. – Losers bracket semifinals
2:30 p.m. – Losers bracket semifinals
4 p.m. – Third Place Game
5:30 p.m. – Losers bracket finals
7 p.m. – Championship Game