Mar 2015

Delaware Sports Commission Announces Participating Delaware Schools 

Dover, DE – March 20, 2015 – Six of Delaware’s top high school basketball teams will square off 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 2015 will include host Cape Henlopen High, Sanford School, Appoquinimink High, Dover High, Mount Pleasant High and St. Elizabeth High.

“We are very excited to have great programs and coaches accept the invitation to participate in the 2015 Slam Dunk to The Beach Event,” said Slam Dunk to the Beach Chairman, Dr. Matthew Robinson. It was important for us to have teams representing each of the counties in the state and we would like to offer the opportunity to participate to as many state teams as possible. I feel our selection committee did an outstanding job of identifying some of the best teams the state has to offer.”

Slam Dunk is returning to Lewes after a successful 2014 relaunch of the iconic tournament that over the years has hosted some of the nation’s premier players, including LeBron James (2001), Kevin Durant (2003), Dwight Howard (2003) and Carmelo Anthony (2000), all now NBA superstars.

In its return to Cape Henlopen High School in 2014 after an 11 year hiatus, the tournament attracted well over 10,000 visitors, generating an estimated $1 million in local economic impact as fans and players from across the country traveled to Delaware’s resorts to see the showcase of elite high school basketball talent. While here, the visitors stayed in area hotels and shopped in local stores, adding another element of tourism commerce to the beach area, which traditionally sees the majority of its economic energy during the summer months.

Highlights of the 2014 tournament included the play of the nation’s top rated point guard, Isaiah Briscoe, and top five center, Cheick Diallo. Briscoe will play his basketball next season for the currently undefeated University of Kentucky Wildcats, while Diallo has yet to commit. The two will be teammates in the 38th Annual McDonald’s All-America game on April 1.

While another outstanding crop of national teams will be announced this summer, Dr. Robinson unveiled the six Delaware participants Thursday night at the Blue-Gold All Star High School Basketball Banquet at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. The six local teams will compete against one another, as well as the national field, in the three-day tournament.

“We were very excited with the success of this past year’s event and we are looking to build on that momentum. We also look forward to announcing the national teams in June. There has been incredible interest from outstanding programs around the country,” told Dr. Robinson to the banquet crowd.

Here’s a closer look at Delaware’s Slam Dunk entrants:

For the second year in a row, the Sanford School, coached by Stan Waterman will take part in the event. A 2015 Delaware State semifinalist and seven-time State Champion, the Warriors will return a solid group from a team that finished 18-4 this March. Sophomore, Eric Ayala, regarded as one of the top recruits in the Class of 2017 and First Team All-State selection, Mikey Dixon will once again lead the team next winter.

Appoquinimink High School will make its debut at Slam Dunk to the Beach in 2015, led by Head Coach Steve Wright. In only its seventh season of Varsity basketball, the Jaguars finished 18-4 in 2014-15, losing to eventual state champions, Salesianum, in the Quarterfinal Round. Appoquinimink’s team was led by Class of 2017 standout, Myles Cale, in several statistical categories this season.

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 playoff bound in 2014-15 and will bring back a strong local following to the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament.

Representing Kent County at Slam Dunk to the Beach will be Dover High School. The Senators, coached by Stephen Wilson, finished their 2014-15 campaign as the #12 seed in the State Tournament after putting together a 13-7 regular season record. Rising Junior, Jordan Allen, who scored 40 points in a game this season will return for a strong senior season.

Another state semifinalist, Mount Pleasant High School, will compete at Cape Henlopen this winter. Lisa Sullivan, the only female in the state to coach a boy’s basketball team, led the Green Knights to the Flight B Championship on their way to a 19-3 overall record in 2014-15. Mount returns four of five starters from this season’s team that finished one game away from playing in the state championship.

The Vikings of St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, DE round out the 2015 field of Delaware teams. Head Coach, Dick Rago, led his team to the 2015 State Quarterfinals with a record of 17-5. The young squad featured the sophomore duo of Jordan Money and Malik Curry, who combined for nearly 30 points per game during the 2014-15 campaign.

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 2015 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 an early bird special, limited supply offer of three day Tournament Passes are now on sale to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at www.slamdunktothebeach.com or by calling 844-594-2257. For more information, visit slamdunktothebeach.com or follow the tournament on Facebook at Slam Dunk to the Beach or via twitter under the handle @SlamDunkToBeach.

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Delaware Sports Commission