Lincoln Park wins 39th edition of Burger King Classic


Hayden Hutchinson, Managing Editor

This past weekend a Cathedral Prep basketball tradition took place at the Hagerty Family Events Center in the 39th edition of The Burger King Classic.  It was an exciting field as always with four great teams included. The Ramblers of Cathedral Prep were joined by De La Salle (Chicago), Lincoln Park (Pittsburgh), and Canisius (Buffalo).

“The competition we faced was very high level this year,” said sophomore forward Max Wallace. “It is always exciting to face teams that we may not play as often if ever. It is especially competitive with high level prospects on some of the teams we were able to play.”

With these highly touted teams making the sojourn to Erie some talented players were on hand. There were at least five Division I recruits playing in the tournament.

“We were tremendously excited about the talent that came to this year’s Burger King Classic, and the response of the community to support the event,” said Cathedral Prep Athletic Director Mr. Bill Flanagan. “Lincoln Park’s backcourt of Brandin Cummings and Meleek Thomas is the best in the state of Pennsylvania. Cummings has committed to Pitt as a junior, and Thomas has already been offered by the likes of Kentucky and Indiana as one of the top five sophomores in the country. De La Salle featured Evan Jackson, Charles Barnes and Richard Lindsey, who are all Division I prospects, while Canisius had Shane Cercone who had 51 points in two games Classic weekend as another D-I recruit. We have been blessed to have countless top players participate in the Classic over the years, and I can’t thank the many sponsors and volunteers who have done so much to make this tournament so highly regarded.”

This talent made for some some fun and competitive games. Lincoln Park eventually took the crown by beating Canisius on Friday and De La Salle, in the championship on Saturday. Canisius took third after a hard fought loss with Lincoln Park on Friday and then a win against the Ramblers on Saturday.

“The atmosphere was very special to participate in,” said senior and fan Frank Riley. “With the game being that close and the gym being full, it made for an electric student section on Friday night. Overall it was a fun experience to be able to see the talent displayed in our own city.”

Another year of the Burger King Classic is in the books, and next year will mark the 40th edition of the tournament. There will be more talent to come next year and continue this long standing tradition not just for Prep but for basketball in all of Erie.

“The Burger King Classic is something I’ll never forget partaking in,” said senior guard Sam Spence. “It is an atmosphere we only get a couple times a year and to be able to face stiff competition this early in the season will help us prepare for future games and hopefully show us what we need to do in order to win a state championship in the end.”