After establishing itself as the top high school boys basketball league in the country, the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference is expanding.
AZ Compass Prep (Ariz.) and Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) will join the NIBC for the 2022-23 season, the conference announced Tuesday, to compete alongside national powers such as Montverde Academy, Sunrise Christian Academy, IMG Academy and Oak Hill Academy.
The news from NIBC and GEICO Nationals organizers Paragon Marketing Group expands the eight-team league to 10, and marks the next step in a national high school basketball landscape that has consolidated in the upper-echelons in recent year.
The league was formed during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and completed its first season, which included a 10-game regular season and championship tournament.
Six of the eight teams in this week’s GEICO Nationals field are from the NIBC. The long-standing national tournament takes place Thursday through Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
AZ Compass Prep, a tuition-free charter school in Chandler, Ariz., enters its second consecutive GEICO Nationals appearance this week as the 6-seed. It is not recognized by the Arizona Interscholastic Association (which makes it Power 25 ineligible) and cannot play AIA member high schools. The Dragons (24-4) have as many as 10 projected Division I players on their roster.
Long Island Lutheran (19-8) has won eight New York State Federation titles, most recently coming in 2019. The Crusaders went 19-8 in 2021-22 playing a nationally-competitive schedule and climbed as high as No. 21 in the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25 national rankings.
The tournament will take place March 31 through April 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. Here’s the full schedule:
March 31 (All games on ESPNU)
Noon ET: No. 5 Oak Hill Academy vs. No. 4 Link Academy
2 p.m. ET: No. 6 AZ Compass Prep vs. No. 3 Montverde Academy
4 p.m. ET: No. 7 La Lumiere vs. No. 2 IMG Academy
6 p.m. ET: No. 8 Prolific Prep vs. No. 1 Sunrise Christian Academy
April 1 (All games on ESPN 2)
2:30 p.m. ET: AZ Compass/Montverde Academy Winner vs. La Lumiere/IMG Academy Winner
4:30 p.m. ET: Oak Hill Academy/Link Academy Winner vs. Prolific Prep/Sunrise Christian Winner
April 2 (ESPN)
Noon ET: Championship game