2016 Slam Dunk to the Beach to include four of DE’s top teams
Dover, DE – March 18, 2016 – Four of Delaware’s top high school basketball teams will have the opportunity to showcase their talents against the nation’s best players this December as the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament returns to Lewes, DE.
Set for Dec. 27-29, Slam Dunk to the Beach 2016 will include host Cape Henlopen High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, Sanford School and Smyrna High School.
“We are pleased to welcome back another crop of great programs that features Delaware’s top basketball talent,” said Executive Director of the Delaware Sports Commission, Chris Giacomucci. “It continues to be important to us to have teams representing each county in the state. We feel that our selection committee did an excellent job of identifying schools which will represent Delaware well in December.”
Slam Dunk will be back in Lewes for the third consecutive year after a successful 2015 tournament drew in over 12,000 fans, players and participants. Each of the past two DIAA State Champions have participated in Slam Dunk to the Beach since its return in December of 2014.
Over the years Slam Dunk to the Beach has hosted some of the nation’s premier players, including LeBron James (2001), Kevin Durant (2003) and Carmelo Anthony (2000), but recent participants are already making their presence felt in college basketball. Seven players from the 2014 crop of talent will be participating in this season’s NCAA Tournament. These talented freshmen include Chieck Diallo of one-seed Kansas (Our Savior New American, NY), Isaiah Briscoe of four-seed Kentucky (Roselle Catholic, NJ) and Lamarr Kimble of eight-seed St. Joseph’s (Neumann-Gorreti, PA).
While another outstanding crop of national teams will be announced this summer, the Delaware Sports Commission unveiled the four Delaware participants Thursday night at the Blue-Gold All Star High School Basketball Banquet at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The four local teams will compete against one another, as well as the national field, in the three-day tournament.
Here’s a closer look at Delaware’s Slam Dunk entrants:
For the third year in a row, the Sanford School, coached by Stan Waterman, will take part in the event. This year, the Warriors will be defending the 2016 DIAA State Championship, the schools eighth all-time and fourth in the past seven seasons.
Sanford battled a top-10 nationally ranked, La Lumiere School (IN), to overtime before falling 67-61 and also defeated in-state Dover in the final game of Day One. 2015 Slam Dunk to the Beach All-Tournament Team selection, Mikey Dixon, will be gone to graduation, but Sanford always returns a new crop of talent. Returning starter, Connor Rufo, will be a Senior and Jyare Davis will begin his second season of varsity competition as only a Freshman.
Mount Pleasant High School will come back to Slam Dunk to the Beach in 2016, after playing in the tournament for the first time last season. The Green Knights and Head Coach Lisa Sullivan played against VA power, Bishop O’Connell in 2015, falling 53-46 on the opening day before bouncing back with a victory over St. Elizabeth on the final day of the tournament. Mount returns forward K’Vonn Cramer, one of the top nationally ranked players in the 2019 class.
Host school, Cape Henlopen High School will once again compete at the event played on their home floor. Head Coach Steve Re’s Vikings team was once again playoff bound in 2015-16 and will bring back a strong local following to the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament. The Vikings will be led by two of the very best in the class of 2018, Ian Robertson and Randy Rickards. This Junior duo will make Cape a favorite in the Henlopen Conference and a top team in the state.
Representing Kent County at Slam Dunk to the Beach will be Smyrna High School. The Eagles, coached by Andrew Mears, posted an impressive 18-4 record in 2016 and advanced to the DIAA State Quarterfinals. Like their aforementioned Henlopen North counterparts, Smyrna also boasts of a young talented roster. Soon to be Junior, Caleb Matthews, and Sophomore-to-be, Jaymeir Garnett, will lead the team next season.
The Delaware Sports Commission has once again brought aboard Position Sports, Inc., a national sports marketing company, to manage all event operations and recruit the national teams to complete the 2016 field. Position Sports has worked with many of the world’s leading brands, including current clients Nike, Jordan Brand, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and USA Basketball.
The Delaware Sports Commission also announced that special introductory price of three day Tournament Passes are now on sale to the public at only $45. Tickets can be purchased online at http://slamdunktothebeach.com/tickets/. For more information, visit slamdunktothebeach.com or follow the tournament on twitter under the handle @SlamDunkToBeach.
About Delaware Sports Commission:
The Delaware Sports Commission, a not-for-profit organization, was established to attract regional and national level sporting events to Delaware as an endeavor to positively impact Delaware’s economy. The DSC also assists with the retention and growth of existing sporting events. To date, the DSC has partnered with over 50 regional and national events, paving the way for future large-scale events to be held in Delaware
Slam Dunk to the Beach Media Contact:
Scott Klatzkin, Media Coordinator