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NBA scouts descend on Las Vegas for Tarkanian Classic

The Tarkanian Classic will have some new faces in the crowd this week: NBA executives and scouts.

For the first time in the basketball tournament’s history, NBA teams can officially attend in person to evaluate high school-aged players. Earlier this month, ESPN reported that the NBA had loosened scouting rules to allow teams to fully attend three high school events, including the Tarkanian Classic.

Tarkanian Classic co-founder and co-director Dinos Trigonis said 25 NBA teams have requested credentials for the event.

“It continues to enhance and grow it, and it adds prestige to it,” Trigonis said. “Being in those categories shows a high level of respect not just for the history of the tournament, but also the Tarkanian family name.”

The tournament, named after former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, begins Friday at Bishop Gorman. The national prep school division, which has more than 60 teams, begins Friday and runs through Sunday. The boys and girls high school division, which will feature more than 200 teams, begins Monday and concludes Thursday.

Bishop Gorman, ranked No. 13 nationally by MaxPreps, will play in the 16-team boys platinum bracket.

No. 20 West Ranch (California), No. 22 Kell (Georgia), and No. 25 Oak Cliff Faith Family Academy (Texas) are also in the platinum bracket, along with local schools Coronado, Liberty and Durango.

On the girls’ side, ESPN’s top class of 2023 recruit, Southern California commit Judea Watkins, will be in the 16-team diamond bracket with Sierra Canyon (California). Liberty, Bishop Gorman, Shadow Ridge and Democracy Prep are the local schools in the bracket.

“We’ve seen the ascension of the girls component of this start to rival the boys,” Trigonis said.

The Orleans Arena and other local high schools, such as Durango and Sierra Vista, will also host. The full tournament schedule and list of teams can be found at tarkanianclassic.com.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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