By: George Courtney

Basketball is a year round sport and the excitement never stops for the staff at GC3 Hoops. I am pleased to announce that the Inaugural Grand Canyon Classic will be played in primetime on Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Sandra Day O’Connor High School. The event will feature some of Arizona’s premier high school women’s basketball programs. 

The event idea has been in the works for sometime since Women’s Basketball is the future. The event will be live broadcasted by the VB Network and will be well covered by local media. O’Connor Women’s Head Coach Charles Wilson had a few words to say about the event, “It feels absolutely amazing to be selected to host and participate in this event. GC3 Hoops has done a great job of prioritizing the game of women’s basketball. From rankings to game coverage, girls basketball in the state has been highlighted. As it continues to grow, we definitely need more events such as this to provide a platform for the overwhelming talent coming up.

I asked Coach Wilson what an event like this could do to help his program, he replied, “This event provides an opportunity for our girls program to headline a stage that’ll not only shine light on the girls but also the school itself overall. We have grown so much as a program over the past seven months and we look forward to showcasing events such as this to continue to move the needle for the growth of our program. I am excited to be provided with the opportunity for our girls.”

The buzz for women’s basketball in Arizona has been increasing since our state has more college bound talent then in years past. O’Connor Athletic Director Jason Rypkema had this to say about the event, “O’Connor decided to host the inaugural Grand Canyon Classic, because we are excited about the potential it has to showcase girls’ basketball. We are all about giving students opportunities to showcase their skills at O’Connor, and this is just another great opportunity to do that.” 

In sitting down meeting with Rypkema, our philosophies aligned especially since he is an Iowa Hawkeyes fan and followed the Women’s NCAA Tournament closely this season. Rypkema feels an event like this can help grow the game of women’s basketball in the state. He said, “It (Grand Canyon Classic) will give the coaches and female student athletes a chance to be on a stage to show what they can do. It will bring some good competition in, that will enhance the basketball players skills, and hopefully will have a playoff type atmosphere in the gym to get that feel in early December. This event helps our community because it shows and brings good basketball to the west valley. There is some talent over here, and it gives the community, school, and women’s programs a chance to show that. It should be a great, fun event to put on.”

Ladies and Gentlemen mark your calendars for Saturday, December 9, 2023. The staff at GC3 Hoops is extremely grateful and excited to partner with Sandra Day O’Connor High School to bring this event in its inaugural year. Stay tuned to the GC3 Hoops platform ( , Instagram, and Twitter) for the announcement of the game matchups.