The return of Slam Dunk to the Beach was an overwhelming success. More than 10,000 people poured into Cape Henlopen High School to watch the three-day basketball event that had been absent since 2003, a total that far exceeded even the most optimistic of prognostications.
“The return of the Slam Dunk to the Beach was a huge success” said Dr. Matthew Robinson, chairman of the Delaware Sports Commission, the organization which re-established this event on the national basketball calendar. “We far-exceeded expectations in terms of attendance and all of the feedback we have received from fans, high school and college coaches, and media has been overwhelmingly positive. This was just a great weekend across the board for the entire state.”
The Delaware Sports Commission also released the Slam Dunk to the Beach All-Tournament team. The honorees include seven representatives from the field’s 16-teams. They are Rawle Alkins (Christ The King), Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic), Donte DiVincenzo (Salesianum), Quade Green (Saints Neumann And Goretti), Chris Lykes (Gonzaga College), Cameron Reddish (The Haverford School) and Josh Williams (St. Vincent-St. Mary).
Alkins averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds per game as nationally-ranked Christ The King went 2-1 over its three days at Slam Dunk to the Beach. The No. 35 ranked player in the class of 2016 had 14 points in the second quarter alone in Monday’s win over Sanford. He also dominated Saturday’s victory over Gonzaga College with 18 points and 18 boards.
“Too many ranked guys–and I’ve had a bunch of them–they want to score all the time,” said Christ The King head coach Joe Arbitello. “As anyone can see, [Alkins] is very willing to pass the basketball. He’s very willing to let the game come to him, very willing to grab rebounds if that’s what we need him to do, very willing to be the cheerleader on the bench. He is everything that you see. There’s no fake in him. He does everything for our team, and he’s a great kid.”
Briscoe lived up to expectations by averaging 20 points, three assists and 2.5 steals per game during a pair of Roselle Catholic victories. The top-ranked senior point guard in the country was dealing with foul trouble for his entire trip to Delaware. He even missed most of the fourth quarter and both overtimes in his team’s dramatic win over Gonzaga College. Still he managed to electrify the patrons with an assortment of thunderous dunks that had everyone buzzing.
“Isaiah’s a special talent, which I think everyone realizes,” said Roselle Catholic head coach Dave Boff. “He brings a ton to the table and just helps us in so many ways. We’re more than one player, but he’s so explosive that he’s a true difference maker–as elite as they come–and we’re awful happy to have him.”
DiVincenzo averaged 20 points in three games for Salesianum. The Villanova commit took over down the stretch in Sallies win over Caesar Rodney on Monday. He scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the final period, adding four steals, three assists and two blocked shots in the game. The previous night he was spectacular in a losing cause against St. Vincent-St. Mary. DiVincenzo scored 28 points, including the first 11 of the game for Salesianum, as the Sals stayed competitive against one of the nation’s best teams.
“Donte was phenomenal,” said Salesianum head coach Brendan Haley. “He did every single thing we asked of him, and especially the competing part. He competed every play at both ends, which is what you want your leader to do.”
Green lit up Gil St. Bernard’s on Saturday, as the Saints rallied for a 59-50 win. The sophomore had seven of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter. He connected from inside (four layups), outside (2-of-3 from long range) and at the foul line (7-of-8). The 10th grader also made his presence felt defensively, where he added four steals and pulled down six boards. He followed that performance up with 22 points on 11 shots in a rout of Sanford.
“[Quade Green’s] not your typical sophomore,” said Neumann-Goretti head coach Carl Arrigale. “He’s a really good player. He played last year as a freshman for me — got into important games. The sky is the limit for him. He’s got a great work ethic. He’s in great shape. He really can shoot. I mean if you are that size, you’ve got to be able to shoot the ball, you know, and he can shoot. He also makes his fouls. He’s got everything you need in a package to be a good player.”
Lykes was monumental in getting Gonzaga to double-overtime with fifth-ranked Roselle Catholic on Monday. With starting point guard and Wake Forest commit Bryant Crawford saddled with foul trouble for most of the first half, Lykes kept the Eagles afloat with an assortment of moves that had the patrons buzzing. The 5-foot-7-inch sophomore finished the game with 22 points. He also chipped in with eight points, three assists and two steals in Gonzaga’s tournament-opening 63-51 setback at the hands of Christ The King.
Reddish dazzled in Haverford’s tournament-opening loss to Roselle Catholic, dropping 25 points on only 13 shots. The freshman was having another solid outing against Our Savior New American on Monday when a third-quarter injury severely hampered him for the rest of the game. Reddish still managed to average 18 points per game and shot 67 percent from three-point range for the three-day event.
“Absolutely, [Reddish] is special,” said Haverford head coach Henry Fairfax. “He’s a prodigious talent and a great kid. First and foremost he’s a solid student and then an outstanding athlete and that’s something we are really proud of at Haverford School. We’re excited to have him for another couple of years.”
Williams excelled in a pair of St. Vincent-St. Mary wins over Salesianum and Sunrise Christian. The senior was thoroughly in control on Sunday against the Sals, scoring 22 points to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He was even better the next night, scoring exactly half of his team’s 52 points in a come-from-behind triumph.
“Josh is our leader,” said St. Vincent-St. Mary head coach Dru Joyce. “He’s a great kid on and off the court, high character, does everything we ask him to. At the end of the game I took him out and I could see he needed a rest. But a lot of times guys want to fight you. He said, ‘no coach, I know I needed it.’ But that’s the kind of kid he is. You just love coaching those kind of kids, that appreciate what you are trying to do, and just whatever I want done he makes sure it happens with the guys. It has made my job much easier.”
The All-Tournament Team was chosen by select members of the media and the Slam Dunk to the Beach committee.