Why Sierra Canyon thrives in the spotlight

As Sierra Canyon stood in the tunnel, waiting for its turn to enter the JQH Arena floor, dozens of children stood in the stands and leaned over the fence as they called out the players’ names.

It’s nothing new to the Trailblazers – they’ve been the main attraction at every tournament they play in. At some tournaments, fans cheer them on. At others, such as the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, they are cheered by thousands who have no affiliation with the team.

All the kids wanted were autographs and selfies as they glimpse their heroes before entering court.

“It’s crazy because I was one of those kids at one point (hung over the rafters),” said sophomore Isaiah Elohim. “And now I’m here. It’s surreal.’

Sierra Canyon (California) advanced to the Championship game of the Tournament of Champions with an 81-49 win over Whitney Young (Chicago) on Friday night at the JQH Arena.

Sierra Canyon faced Whitney Young in the semifinals of the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions at the JQH Arena on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

A roster that included sons of NBA legends, four- and five-star recruits, and multiple high school athletes with hundreds of thousands of followers and blue check marks on Instagram took it upon themselves to put on a show in front of thousands in attendance.

“This prepares us for the next level of college and so on,” said Elohim, a top 10 sophomore recruit. “They came here to see us, so we did what we wanted to do today.”

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