Three Wichita organizations – Sunrise Christian Academy, Visit Wichita and the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission (GWASC) – are teaming up with the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) to host the first Air Capital Hoopfest December 1-3, 2022, at Charles Koch Arena on the Wichita State University campus. The three-day boys basketball showcase will feature five of the top high school basketball programs in the country.
Sunrise Christian Academy is one of five NIBC teams participating in the event. “The NIBC represents the highest level of high school basketball and academic institutions in the country,” said Rashid Ghazi, commissioner of the NIBC. “We are delighted to partner with the city of Wichita, Kansas and Sunrise Christian Academy, last year's NIBC regular season champions, to create an event that showcases our teams and the incredible talent within the NIBC. Wichita is a great sports town with an amazing basketball tradition and enthusiastic fans. The Air Capital Hoopfest will be a special event."
“The NIBC represents the highest level of high school basketball in the country, and we are lucky to have one of those schools, Sunrise Christian Academy, right here in Wichita. We are thrilled to cheer them on in the first-ever Air Capital Hoopfest,” said “It’s a great opportunity for locals and basketball fans in the region to see top-notch talent and high-quality basketball on the court at Charles Koch Arena.”
Kevin Jenks, president/CEO of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission added, “The Air Capital Hoopfest is going to be awesome! Luke Barnwell, head coach of Sunrise Christian Academy, has built the program into one of the nation’s elite basketball schools. GWASC is proud to partner with NIBC, Sunrise Christian Academy and Visit Wichita to bring top level high school hoops to Wichita.”
Additional teams, within and/or outside NIBC, are being considered and may be announced at a later date.
“I’m so excited to bring together the great basketball city of Wichita, the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference, Sunrise Christian Academy and other talented teams to compete under the same roof at Charles Koch Arena,” said Luke Barnwell. “It’s been a blessing to play against programs like Oak Hill Academy all over the country the last few seasons but I’m more excited to have these game here in Wichita. We are looking forward to three great nights of basketball in Wichita.”
The broadcast partner and details regarding ticket sales will be announced at a later date.
About the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC)
Founded in 2020, the NIBC is a preeminent collection of established high school academic institutions committed to elite, national basketball competition. The conference is comprised of 10 member institutions:
- AZ Compass Prep (Arizona)
- Bishop Walsh School (Maryland)
- IMG Academy (Florida)
- La Lumiere School (Indiana)
- Legacy Early College (South Carolina)
- LuHi (New York)
- Montverde Academy (Florida)
- Oak Hill Academy (Virginia)
- Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas)
- Wasatch Academy (Utah)
Following the 2021-22 season, 10 players were selected as McDonald's All-Americans and 12 athletes were drafted to the NBA. The NIBC is currently home to six nationally ranked teams, a combined 16 of the top ESPN 100 recruits in the Class of 2023 (two in the top 10); nine top 50 recruits for 2024; and two top 25 recruits for 2025.
The NIBC provides a multi-media platform which includes a live, national television schedule and a dynamic social media presence (NIBCOfficial & SCNext) on IG, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.
Each team will compete in a 12-game regular season schedule for the 2022-23 season.
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the Greater Wichita area and advocates for the city as a destination, increasing travel and tourism as a key economic driver for the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2019 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.
About the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission
The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission is a facilitator, driving the collaborative efforts of the region in attracting and hosting a wide variety of local, regional, and national sporting events at the youth, amateur, and professional level. Since 1997, the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has facilitated over 650 events in the Wichita area with a combined economic impact of over $550 million. The Sports Commission also owns and operates annual events, including the: Prairie Fire Race Series, NBC Baseball Foundation and World Series, the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet featuring the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award and the Wichita Corporate Challenge. The Sports Commission provides the experience and expertise in sports marketing and event management that has established our region as a sports destination.