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Opponents: Sunrise NIBC Opening Week Preview

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

By: Steven Pham

Graphics by: Ryan Deppen

Wichita, KS. - The National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) is composed of eight schools around the country. Those teams are; Bishop Walsh School (Cumberland, Md.),(IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.), Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.), Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), and Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah).

These powerhouse basketball teams came together to create the NIBC league. This forms the highest level of high school basketball and allows the best teams in the nations to compete against each other throughout the season. Sunrise Christian Academy will begin NIBC play tomorrow in Montverde, Florida. Sunrise will play three NIBC games this week in Montverde.

1st Game (IMG Academy)

No. 3 Sunrise (5-0) will kick off their NIBC season tomorrow against No. 2 IMG Academy (3-0) at 5 p.m. EST in Montverde, Florida and streaming on ESPNU. This will be the first of three games for Sunrise.

This will be Sunrise’s biggest challenge of the season so far. IMG Academy has blown out all three of their opponents so far this season by 30+ points. Both Sunrise and IMG have looked comfortable in the first three weeks of play but will be put to the test tomorrow against each other.

IMG is led by head coach Sean McAloon. He has been with IMG since 2017 and helped bring a national championship to IMG in 2019. IMG has nine players on ESPN’s Top 100 for the class of 2022. They are led by Keyonte George (ranked #3), Jaden Bradley (#8), Jarace Walker (#19), Eric Dailey Jr. (#21), Jett Howard (#41), Alex Karaban (#42), Justyn Fernandez (#74), A.J. Storr (#95), and Justin Taylor (#100). The rest of the roster includes; Anthony Gilkes, Jacoi Hutchinson, Noah Batchelor, Gus Yalden, and Michael Moore.

The last meeting between these two squads was in the 2021 GEICO Nationals semifinal matchup on April, 2nd 2021. Sunrise won a close one 70-63 to move onto the national finals last season. This will be the only matchup between these two teams this regular season and IMG will be looking to get revenge for last season’s ending.

Be sure to tune into this star-studded matchup on ESPNU at 5 p.m. EST tomorrow!

2nd Game (Oak Hill Academy)

The second night of Sunrise’s NIBC road trip will be against No. 13 Oak Hill Academy (8-1) on Friday, December 3rd at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN+. Sunrise will be coming off their IMG game and Oak Hill will be coming off their game against Montverde Academy.

Another tough opponent for Sunrise this Friday. Oak Hill has only suffered one loss this season and it was by one point to Greensboro Day. All of Oak Hill’s wins have been by a comfortable 20+ points every game.

Oak Hill’s head coach is Steve Smith who has been their coach for 31 years and has led Oak Hill to eight national championships. Oak Hill has two players on ESPN’s Top 100 for the class of 2022; Chris Livingston (ranked #12) and Judah Mintz (#43). The rest of the roster is Devin Ree, Xavier Brown, Jordan Marsh, Caleb Foster, Tybo Bailey, Justin McBride, Jeremy Gregory, and Christian Reeves.

The last meeting between these two was back on February 12th, 2021 in the Heartland Hoops Classic. Sunrise would hang on to win 67-56 against Oak Hill. This will be the only meeting between these two teams in the regular season and Oak Hill will be looking to dethrone Sunrise from the top three in rankings.

Be sure to check out this game on Friday at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN+!

3rd Game (Montverde Academy)

Sunrise will take on No. 1 Montverde Academy (3-0) on the final night of their NIBC road trip. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 4th at Montverde’s homecourt. The game will be televised on ESPN+.

Montverde started the season off with two 40+ point blowouts but then won their last game by 15 points. Montverde has been off to a great start this season and is looking for a three-peat in nationals. Sunrise and Montverde will be coming off games against both Oak Hill and IMG before meeting this Saturday.

Kevin Boyle has been the head coach of Montverde since 2012. Boyle has helped Montverde win five national championships in the past eight years and has built one of the best basketball programs in the nation. The amount of NBA talent that has been coached by Boyle and came from Montverde is eye-opening. Some notable players include; Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, and plenty more.

Montverde has six players on ESPN’s Top 100 from the class of 2022 and they are all ranked in the top 25. The highest-ranked player is Dariq Whitehead (ranked #5), then followed by Vincent Iwuchukwu (#11), Skyy Clark (#16), Dillon Mitchell (#18), Malik Reneau (#23), and Jalen Hood-Schifino (#24). To round out their roster they have; Mikkel Tyne, Kwame Evans Jr, Noah Sun, Amier Ali, Derik Queen, Aiden Fletcher, and Bayley Crawford.

This is one of the most anticipated matchups on the NIBC schedule. This game will be a rematch of last year's GEICO nationals championship game. Sunrise fell to Montverde 62-52 in the championship game. This will be the first of two meetings between these two squads in the regular season. Sunrise is looking to take down the reigning back-to-back national champions this Saturday.

Be sure to check out this championship rematch on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN+!

After this road trip, Sunrise will be coming back home and continuing NIBC play against No. 4 La Lumiere at Bishop Carroll High School in Wichita, KS. The game will be on Saturday, December 11th at 12 p.m. This is one of the biggest games of the season and to learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

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