Basketball players from several schools, including Inglewood and Lawndale, helped distribute food during the Dwan Hurt Classic Food Drive (Courtesy Photo)

Since its inception in 2018, the Dwan Hurt Holiday Classic basketball tournament has grown into prominence in Los Angeles. The fourth annual Holiday Classic was held at two different locations, highlighting the talents of 28 teams.

“The Dwan Hurt Classic tournament is turning into a premier tournament in the L.A. area right before Christmas,” said Serra boys basketball coach Bernard McCrumby. “That doesn’t happen without my parent’s support, my school administration support and a strong network of coaches that want to come in and compete and continue to help us build coach Hurt’s legacy.”

The 28 schools that participated included Inglewood, Carson, View Park, Compton Centennial, Dorsey, Hawthorne, and Lynwood high schools. It kicked off on December 18 with a seven-game slate at Serra. Then the Holiday Classic moved to King/Drew for their Ricky Price Division from December 20-23.

This year also marks the first year of the Dwan Hurt Classic Food Drive that was done in partnership with Think Watts. The Serra, Lawndale, Leuzinger, King/Drew, Wiseburn Da Vinci, Inglewood, and St Pius/Matthias boys basketball teams gave away 300 boxes to families in need. The boxes were filled with vegetables, fruit, and dried goods.

Serra defeated El Segundo 74-37 during the Dwan Hurt Holiday Classic (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Members of the Serra boy’s basketball team know the impact of late coach Dwan Hurt and are happy to contribute to his legacy through the Holiday Classic.

“He’s like a Serra legend, he won a whole bunch of state championships for us,” Serra junior guard Laqwon Cole said about Hurt. “He was a great coach and he was a role model as well.”

During the Holiday Classic, the Serra Cavaliers competed against the El Segundo Eagles. Although the Cavaliers had a strong offense, they struggled with turnovers early in the game. El Segundo found success by scoring in transition.

“We came out a little slow,” said Serra senior guard Jeremy Dent-Smith. “We had to buy back in mentally and physically and lock in as a team.”

28 schools, including King/Drew, Long Beach Poly, and Long Beach Poly (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Cavaliers found their three-point shot in the third quarter, this put the game out of reach for El Segundo. Ultimately, Serra won 74-37. Cole noted how finding his scoring rhythm took longer than normal.

“My energy was low, I thought it was gonna be an easy win,” he said. “The second half, I had to pick it up and my coach talked to me and picked my energy up as well.”

McCrumby praised the team’s camaraderie, defensive intensity, and strong work ethic during games. This matchup helps the Cavaliers prepare for the likes of Cathedral and Bishop Montgomery in the Del Rey League.

“Our bench had an opportunity to play … it’s a good opportunity for us to play a lot of guys and come out and try to play Serra basketball,” McCrumby said. “We’re growing towards and continuing to mature, just understanding the importance of coming out and continuing to play.”