The Whataburger tournament has been the premier high school boys basketball tourney in the state for decades and it enters its 62nd straight year when 16 teams tip off December 26-28.
Since 1998, the boys orange bracket, which features the top teams in the state and nation, has settled at W.G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, but it will see a new home in 2019. The field will shift to Mansfield Legacy High School, for a more centrally located venue, per tournament director Tom Rogers.
“The tournament has come a long way from just being a city wide tournament which started in 1958 to one of the most competitive and best tournaments not only in the state, but the nation. A few years back, we decided if we could get the best Texas teams along with one really good regional team then the tournament would be ultra competitive which it has been,” Rogers said.
Rogers and the Whataburger tournament approached Mansfield ISD about possibly moving the tourney.
“We feel like it will be more centrally located for both our participating teams and their fan bases both now and in the future. We wanted a fresh start for our fans with closer proximity to the host location,” he said. “The facility is great with chair back seating for our fans and seating close to the court which makes for a more exciting atmosphere.”
Legacy also has a second gym, which will allow for more games in a timely matter.
“Plenty of parking at the school too with easy access off 287,” Rogers said. “There’s also a Whataburger right across the street.”
Started in 1958 at Fort Worth’s Billingsley Field House, the tournament moved to TCU in 1980 for one year.
It moved to Wilkerson Greines Activity Center for the next 17 years before landing at the Coliseum.
“We appreciate Birdville ISD over the years with great memories of exciting tournament games,” Rogers said. “The Coliseum has given the tournament some great memories as one of the best championship games ever played in our tournament was between Fort Worth Dunbar and Ouachita Parish (Louisiana) in 2002.”
Rogers remembers the game being sold out.
Parish was led by Jarrius Jackson, who later starred at Texas Tech.
He scored 48 points while Dunbar’s Jeremis Smith scored 30. Smith went on to star at Georgia Tech.
The boys blue tournament will be played at Chisholm Trail while the girls tourney will be played at Saginaw.
2019 Boys Orange Tournament
Duncanville (Defending 6A state champ)
Mansfield Timberview (Defending 5A state champ)
Manor (5A state semifinalist)
Sulphur Springs (5A state semifinalist)
Dallas Bishop Lynch
South Grand Prairie
Fort Bend Ridge Point