With 17 boys basketball state championships, Bishop Gorman High School sits atop the record table for most all-time titles in Nevada.
The Las Vegas private Catholic school will enter the 2016 postseason on a streak of four consecutive state championship victories, but first, the Gaels will detour to Springfield for the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions.
The Tournament of Champions will be Gorman’s second national tournament this season. The star-studded Gaels finished second to Overland (Colorado) in Gorman’s own Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas in December.
Bishop Gorman went 27-6 last season and won Nevada’s Division I state title. This year, the Gaels are 11-4.
Gonzaga commit Zach Collins stands 6-foot-11 and is ranked in the top 50 of the 2016 graduating class by most college basketball recruiting services.
Collins is skilled at rebounding, blocking shots and scoring baskets from the paint.
Bishop Gorman supplements Collins’ towering inside presence with a pair of sharply skilled perimeter players.
Charles O’Bannon, son of a former UCLA basketball player by the same name, is a 6-foot-5 junior guard who holds scholarship offers from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and UCLA.
Point guard Christian Popoola is a junior with offers from UNLV, San Diego State and New Mexico. The athletic lefty scored 24 points in a 71-52 home win over Dixie, Utah to lead the Gaels on Jan. 9, Bishop Gorman’s last game before the Tournament of Champions.
Bishop Gorman will start the 2016 Tournament of Champions with a 5 p.m. tipoff at JQH Arena against Rainier Beach (Seattle, Washington).
What is a Gael? Merriam-Webster defines “Gael” as “a Celtic, especially Gaelic-speaking, inhabitant of Ireland, Scotland, or the Isle of Man.” According to the school’s website, the team’s logo depicts an Irish knight on horseback.