The Granite City Classic boys and girls basketball event returns to the St. Cloud area next week.  The 2-day event will take place December 29-30 and is put on by Breakdown Sports USA for the 13th straight year.  Justin Hegna of Breakdown Sports joined me on WJON.  He says they will have 84 varsity teams and more than 100 sophomore or junior varsity teams competing at venues throughout the metro area.  Hegna says they will use St. Cloud State, St. John's, St. Ben's, Tech, Apollo, Sartell-St. Stephen and Sauk Rapids-Rice high school gyms for varsity games and other area venues for the lower levels.

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Hegna explains when they took over this event it was when Tyus Jones was playing at Apple Valley High School and Apple Valley came to St. Cloud to play in this event every year.  The Apple Valley coach at the time was former St. Cloud State player Zach Goring.  Hegna indicates the tournament has grown each year with the reason being insuring top talent and compelling matchups.  He says they will have 9 of the top 50 girls basketball players in nation playing in this event and it will feature some unique matchups.  Hegna says the top girls teams coming include Minnetonka, Hopkins, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Minot (ND), Alexandria, Becker, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Crosby-Ironton, Providence Academy, and Albany.

photo courtesy of Don Ferguson
photo courtesy of Don Ferguson

On the boys side Hegna highlighted Mankato East, Stewartville, Tech, Sauk Rapids-Rice, Alexandria, and Albany as teams to watch.  He says the list of top players on both the boys and girls side goes on and on.  Hegna says when they set the matchups the intention is to create competitive games that have some meaning.

Many of the teams coming to St. Cloud to play in this event will be using hotels, restaurants and going to retail establishments.  Hegna isn't sure the economic impact  this event has on the area but estimates it at more than a Million dollars.

Tickets for the each day are $12 for adults, while students and seniors are $8.  For a complete list of matchups go to



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