REWARDS FOR A FIRST-EVER championship run by the South Medford girls basketball team keep coming in, with the latest honor a selection to play in a national tournament Dec. 26-29 in Washington, D.C.

The Panthers, who went a large-school record 30-0 this past season, have been selected as the West Coast representative to the National Title IX Holiday Invitational Conference and Classic (NTHICC).

“It’s a pretty cool deal and we’re excited to be a part of it,” said South Medford head coach Tom Cole, “and they seem pretty excited to have us be a part of it. They even had something up on their website (sankofaproject.org) before we agreed to come that they were hoping the South Medford Panthers will accept their offer to be invited to participate.”

As the website states, the National Title IX Holiday Invitational Conference and Classic (NTHICC) is designed to address the slippage in Title IX compliance by informing players, parents, coaches, athletic directors and administrators about the educational, physical and emotional benefits associated with participation in school-based team sports and the rights and protections provided by Title IX.

During this winter break, some of the top nationally ranked female high school basketball programs will be joining D.C.-area scholar athletes with GPAs of 3.0 or better to listen to keynote speakers on the topic of Title IX.

The basketball players will also test their skills against some of the best, including McEachern from Powder Springs, Ga., which finished this last season ranked No. 3 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25. Other top 25 teams slated to join No. 15 South Medford and McEachern are No. 5 Riverdale Baptist of Maryland, No. 10 Cicero-North Syracuse of New York, No. 12 Hoover High of Alabama and No. 24 Our Lady of Good Counsel of Maryland.

Area teams Forest Park of Virginia, Aberdeen and Riverdale Baptist of Maryland, Providence Day of North Carolina and Wilson of Washington, D.C., are also slated to participate.