For a group of New Yorkers, they seem to enjoy a second home on a Springfield basketball court.
No team has won the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions more times than Christ the King Regional School of Middle Village, Queens, New York. The six-time champion Royals return to the national boys basketball tournament for its 32nd edition, and what will be their 16th entry.
Christ the King won the first ever Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in 1985. The Royals’ last Tournament of Champions title came in 2008.
As part of Team LeBron, the Royals receive playing gear from two-time NBA Finals MVP LeBron James and Nike. The Royals wear special editions of the shoes that James endorses in their maroon and gold colors.
Christ the King is off to a 7-2 start after going 24-5 a season ago. The Royals finished as New York’s Class AA Federation runners-up.
A pair of college-committed senior forwards and a sought after junior guard lead Christ the King into this year’s Tournament of Champions at JQH Arena, where the Royals will meet Chaminade (St. Louis, Missouri) at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the opening round.
At 6-foot-0, junior Jose Acevedo is not the most intimidating looking player on the court, but Acevedo moves to find gaps in defenses and can creatively finish baskets in spite of being undersized. Indiana, Georgia Tech, St. John’s and Miami, Florida are among the college teams to make scholarship offers to Acevedo.
Seniors Tyrone Cohen and David Cole lead the Christ the King frontcourt. Cohen is committed to Holy Cross while Cole is committed to play for Robert Morris.
Christ the King Royals fast takes
Location: Middle Village, Queens, New York
Colors: maroon and gold
Coach: Joe Arbitello
T of C history: 16th appearance
Notable alumni: NBA champions Lamar Odom and Speedy Claxton, WNBA All-stars Chamique Holdsclaw, Sue Bird and Tina Charles
2016 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions schedule
All games at JQH Arena
Thursday, Jan. 14
5 p.m. Rainier Beach (Seattle, Washington) vs. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nevada)
6:30 p.m. Bolivar vs. Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)
8 p.m. Kickapoo vs. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, California)
9:30 p.m. Christ the King (Middle Village, New York) vs. Chaminade (St. Louis, Missouri)
Friday, Jan. 15
5 p.m. consolation semifinal
6:30 p.m. consolation semifinal
8 p.m. championship semifinal
9:30 p.m. championship semifinal
Saturday, Jan. 16
2:30 p.m. seventh place game
4 p.m. fifth place game
6 p.m. Great Southern Bank dunk contest
7 p.m. third place game
9 p.m. championship game