City of Palms Classic: What I Learned

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The City of Palms Classic is the best pre-Christmas high school basketball event in the country. And just imagine if top-10 senior Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) hadn’t been injured and elite junior Joel Berry (Orlando/Lake Highland) hadn’t hurt his knee? How many events could lose two stars and still stand tall?

Unfortunately, the theme of this season continues to be injuries. Regardless, they played the games and there were still plenty of elite-level stars who stood out. This year’s event was capped Saturday night when No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.), led by No. 1 senior center Dakari Johnson and No. 2 senior point guard Kasey Hill, defeated No. 4 Lone Peak (Utah) and its band of BYU-bound stars in the championship game.

Over the course of three and a half days in Florida, I was able to find the answer to some questions I had.