SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Mike Miller Classic is expanding in 2017 with more teams and an additional day of competition. The 20-game schedule features high school and college basketball programs from seven states Dec. 28-30 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell and the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls.
The Corn Palace will host 12 games during the three-day event, while the Pentagon’s Heritage Court will have eight games.
“When we started the Mike Miller Classic eight years ago, this is exactly what we envisioned,” said Miller. “We continue to bring the best boys’ talent in the country to play against the best South Dakota has to offer while adding girls basketball and college basketball to the mix and at the same time paying tribute to Coach Munsen and Coach Martin – two coaches that have done so much for the game of basketball in the state of South Dakota.”
High school girls programs include Aberdeen Central, DeLaSalle (Minnesota), Sioux Falls O’Gorman and Sioux Falls Roosevelt. Boys teams are Aberdeen Central, Bridgewater-Emery, DeLaSalle (Minnesota), La Lumiere (Indiana), Lower Brule, Mitchell Christian, Mitchell, Prairie Seeds Academy (Minnesota), Prior Lake (Minnesota), Sioux Falls O’Gorman, Sioux Falls Washington, Tea, Wauwatosa West (Wisconsin), White Station (Tennessee) and Yankton.
“It’s always exciting to watch teams from South Dakota go head-to-head with top programs from across the country,” said Jesse Smith, executive director of the Sanford Pentagon. “This is a premier event for high school basketball, and we’re thrilled to play a role in hosting it.”
Two programs with national reputations return to the Mike Miller Classic in 2017. Indiana’s La Lumiere has three players in the ESPN 100 rankings as well as a member of the gold medal-winning U-19 Canadian team. DeLaSalle is the 6-time defending Minnesota state champion in Class 3A.
The Mike Miller Classic again contains the Coach Gary Munsen Tournament, named in honor of Mike Miller’s former coach who led Mitchell to 34 state tournament appearances, 18 Eastern South Dakota Conference titles, nine state championships and five state runner-up honors. DeLaSalle and White Station will play the first game of the Coach Gary Munsen Tournament on Dec. 29 at 2:30 p.m. at the Corn Palace. Mitchell and Yankton will meet at 7 p.m. in the second opening-round game. The winners will advance to the tournament championship game at 8 p.m. on Dec. 30 at the Pentagon.
Four college men’s basketball teams will also play four games at the Corn Palace as part of the Doug Martin Classic: Dakota State University, Dakota Wesleyan University, Peru State University (Nebraska) and Dordt College (Iowa). Doug Martin is the former head coach at Dakota Wesleyan, where he led the Tigers to four conference titles and was named conference coach of the year three times.
“As we prepare for year eight of the Mike Miller Classic, I want to say thank you to the Corn Palace, the Pentagon, all the sponsors, all the teams and coaches that participate, and finally the best fans in the nation for making this possible and giving these young athletes an opportunity of a lifetime!” said Miller.
Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for general admission, $20 reserved and $50 for floor. Tickets go on sale Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. CDT at Ticketmaster.com, cornpalace.com and the Corn Palace and Pentagon box offices.
For more information, visit mikemillerclassic.com.