About the Cactus Jam

The 25th annual Cactus Jam is a premier Girls and Boys High School basketball tournament held December 26-31 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cactus Jam combines great competition with fun in the sun. The tournament hotels are located in the heart of the Arizona State University campus in the beautiful Tempe metropolitan area. Warm desert sun, great shopping and restaurants, and famous Southwestern hospitality make for a perfect tournament destination and fiesta in December! Interested in attending the Cactus Jam? Check out our 2024 Tournament Guide and get in touch.

The Official Basketball of the 2023 Cactus Jam

Get in the Game

All games are live streamed on BallerTV. Follow the Cactus Jam on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tournament Details

2023 Flight Manifest/Arrivals
2023 Game Site Bus Schedules




2023 Bus Departure Schedule
Game Sites

Notre Dame Prep

9701 E. Bell Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85260


Scottsdale Christian Academy

14400 N. Tatum Blvd

Phoenix, AZ 85032


Sunnyslope High School

35 W Dunlap Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85021

Final Coaches Letter
Things to do

Phoenix Suns vs. Charlotte Hornets – Friday December 29, 7pm Footprint Center. Contact rkennedy@suns.com (602) 379-7511 or purchase tickets 

ASU WBB vs. Santa Clara – December 30

NHL Phoenix Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche –  December 27, 7pm Mullett Arena (walking distance) (MORE INFO)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl Game – December 26, 7pm Chase Field (light rail accessible) (MORE INFO)

Escape Room (walking distance) (MORE INFO)

Grand Canyon Tour (MORE INFO)

Phoenix Zoo (MORE INFO)

Tempe Activities (MORE INFO)

Visit ASU campus (CLICK HERE)

Tempe has some of the Valley’s best shopping and nightlife venues including downtown Tempe, which offers a pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment district like no other in Arizona. Arizona Mills provides more than 175 shops and dining options under one roof including an IMAX Theater.

Tempe also offers NFL football, Major League Baseball Spring Training, rowing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and collegiate sporting events at Arizona State University, as well as Broadway shows at Gammage Auditorium, music and dance performances at Arizona State University, Childsplay at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, historical museums and art exhibits at the Nelson Fine Arts Center.


The 2023 Cactus Jam is sanctioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  (Learn more)


The Cactus Jam is based in the heart of Tempe at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. The Mission Palms is a first-class hotel with over 300 rooms located near many attractions and sights. Enjoy an afternoon spent on the picturesque roof-top pool and terrace, with splendid views of Downtown Tempe, or perhaps a gathering at Harry’s Place, the inviting indoor/outdoor lounge with live Jazz on Wednesdays. And finally, a delicious dinner at the acclaimed Mission Grille. The fully-equipped fitness center is located on the roof-top terrace, along with a lighted tennis court, sauna, whirlpool, and exercise room.

Tempe Mission Palms is located within a short drive of all the local attractions, including the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Gardens, Red River Music Hall, Mill Avenue shopping, Gammage Theatre, the Sun Devil Stadium, Desert Financial Arena, Wells Fargo Arena and the Karsten Golf Course. Both great locations!

Explore the Tempe Mission Palms 


Download our 2023 Cactus Jam Pricing Sheet!


Q: How many games would we play?

A: Each team is guaranteed 3 games over 3 days (1 game per day) Dec. 27, 28, and 30.

Q: Can we stay for less than 5 nights?

A: We strongly suggest arriving on Dec. 26 and departing on Dec. 31. You never know what travel complications may delay your team’s arrival Additionally, check-ins are not guaranteed until 3:00 p.m. MST. If your team plays in the later games on Dec. 30 and chooses to depart that same night, you will be subject to late check out fees to hold onto your rooms. If you must depart on Dec. 30, aim for a departure time no earlier than 11 p.m. MST.

Q: What other costs should we budget for?

A: Each participant receives 4 breakfast coupons per person. You should have a plan for all lunches and dinners. Team activities and laundry are also costs to keep in mind.

Q: How does laundry work?

A: Laundry is each team’s responsibility. There are a few local laundromats we recommend. Eco Laundry and The Clean Spin are both good options.

Q: What team activities do you recommend?

A: See our “Things to Do” section of our website for lots of ideas! We suggest making a plan for activities ahead of time and checking with tournament staff that your plans do not interfere with game times.

Q: How does transportation work?

A: We provide team airport transfers and game transportation. The hotel also offers a shuttle to the Tempe Marketplace shopping center throughout the day. Anything outside that (laundry, dinners, activities, etc.) must be organized on your own.

Q: Are there any tournament-organized events to attend?

A: We provide free ASU basketball tickets (men’s or women’s, depending on schedule) to all participants for one game. Depending on the ASU and Cactus Jam game schedules, it’s possible that not all teams will get to attend.

Q: When will the brackets be released?

A: To avoid multiple bracket versions floating around, we typically release the brackets in November. Please keep in mind that it is very typical for teams to add or drop last minute, causing a shift in bracketing.

Q: How many brackets are there and which will we play in?

A: The number of total boys and girls brackets depends on how many total teams sign up. Each team is asked to fill out a questionnaire to best help us determine which bracket they should play in.

Q: Will we be able to practice?

A: There is not a practice court at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel or the Westin, but there is a walk through court with hoops and balls available for check out. We also have meeting rooms to sign up for in the lobby.

Q: Do we need to bring balls?

A: No, but please bring BOTH sets of uniforms. Home and away teams will be assigned when brackets are released.

Q: Where will the games be played?

A: We use multiple host sites each year. This year, our sites are Notre Dame Prep, Scottsdale Christian Academy, and Sunnyslope High School.

Q: Are there special rules to be aware of?

A: The tournament is sanctioned by the Arizona Interscholastic Association. 

2022 All-Tournament Teams

"I’ve attended Surf N Slam and Cactus Jam multiple times over the past 15 years....They have been and will continue to be “1st Class” events!"
Dave Lieber
Friends Seminary (NY)

Olivia Onnen

Marketing Specialist

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Ayumi Sumile

Executive Assistant

Ayumi is the Executive Assistant for the partners at GSE. She is a highly versatile and experienced EA with a proven track record of success. She has supported executives from healthcare, technology, and broadcast including Pfizer Inc. and Time Warner Cable. In addition to supporting the partners at GSE, she assists the company with project management, graphic design and creative projects.

Erik Evans

Partner, Logistics

Erik Evans has been organizing international tours for teams and schools since 1992 and has executed over 200 tours alone. He has personally led over 40 groups overseas and his primary countries of expertise include Spain, Australia, and Costa Rica. Additionally, Evans is the tournament director of one of the longest-standing and largest highschool tournaments in the nation, the Surf ‘N Slam. 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Surf ‘N Slam, which welcomes athletes, coaches, families and fans to the San Diego region. Evans played basketball and tennis during his undergraduate years at Seattle Pacific University and currently lives in Seattle with his wife, Stephanie, and their three children.

Brian Ratzliff

Managing Partner

A long-time entrepreneur and technology manager, Brian has spent the last twenty years holding successive positions of leadership in companies generally focused on leveraging technology to bring a compelling consumer benefit to the marketplace. For the last year, Brian has led the strategic thinking and growth strategy for Basketball Travelers, Inc., and BTI Events. Out of these strategic sessions has come the core management team and approach for Global Sports & Events.

From 2010-2018, Brian was the co-founder and President of WhatCounts, Inc., a leading permission email and social media platform that was sold to Mansell Group (Atlanta) and Riverside (NY). Previously, Brian was part of the leadership team at ShareBuilder.com, an innovative online brokerage, and financial services firm. He began his technology career in 1994-1998 during the dawn of the internet commercialization phase when he was a member of the product management and business development teams at Internet pioneer – Starwave Corporation, a Paul Allen company.

Brian holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada, where he graduated Dean’s List and a BA from Trinity Western University in Vancouver, Canada where he played varsity basketball.

Sean McShane

Partner, Business Development

Sean has a 25-year career successfully organizing and executing NCAA events both nationally and internationally. Sean has both played and coached at the collegiate and professional levels and brings a high-level sporting background that has seen him compete and manage successful teams and coordinate elite sporting events in many countries throughout the world. With a passion for the Bahamas, Sean has directed Men’s and Women’s events in Freeport and Bimini for the last 15 years. Sean has an uncanny ability to develop top competitive talent. Sean has served as a Director of Financial Services and has held deciding roles in Business Development and in 2016 founded InReach Community DX, where he currently serves as the CEO.

Jason Sarkies

Partner, Operations & Finance

With almost three decades of experience, Jason is an industry veteran in the logistics of tours and tournaments. Before co-founding GSE, he led the organization of dozens of collegiate and high school events in his 25+ years in the business with Basketball Travelers, Inc, specializing in over 100 foreign tours. Additionally, Jason is the tournament director of the Cactus Jam, a Girls and Boys High School basketball tournament held after Christmas in Phoenix, Arizona in its 24th year. Jason holds a Master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Ohio State University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Willamette University and Seattle Pacific University. Jason also played football during his years as an undergrad.

Sara Mosiman

Partner, Strategy

Mosiman oversees strategy and new business development for GSE, including expanding to new markets and broadening its vision. Her passion for closing diversity gaps, impacting athletes, and the benefits of sports aligns with the shifting landscape in amateur athletics and the broadened scope of GSE.

Prior to joining GSE, Mosiman ran The Sports Institute at UW Medicine, a player health and safety organization launched in partnership with the NFL. She was responsible for the Institute’s strategy, growth, fundraising and financial sustainability. She also directed the units that built and deployed digital health technologies, programs and other innovations in sports safety and participation. Previously, she was the director of business development at Basketball Travelers, driving expansion and growth while running DI tournaments in the Bahamas and Las Vegas.

A Seattle-native, Mosiman was a captain and four-year letterwinner at the University of Washington, where she played basketball for the Huskies. She returned to UW’s Foster School of Business for her MBA and was inducted into Delta Airlines Ones to Watch, a program honoring upward mobile leaders in key industries nationwide. She currently serves on the UW Foundation board, Positive Coaching Alliance advisory board, Seattle Sports Commission, volunteers at the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, and coaches for the Special Olympics.