Some of the state’s powerhouse boys' basketball teams will be tipping off against the nation’s premier talent this December as the rejuvenated Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament makes its long-awaited return to Delaware.
Slam Dunk Chairman Matt Robinson unveiled the four Delaware participants March13 at the Blue-Gold All Star High School Basketball Banquet at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
The teams are Salesianum, Sanford, St. Georges Tech and Cape Henlopen. The Sals, coached by Brendan Haley, are fresh off a state championship this season, finishing with a 23-2.
The Warriors of Sanford finished the regulars season ranked second in the state with a record of 17-7. Current Syracuse-standout Trevor Cooney graduated from Sanford in 2011.
The St. Georges Hawks defeated Cape in the semifinals of the state tournament this season before falling to Salesianum in the state championship. The Rod Griffin team finished 21-4.
Cape, the host team, finished the season ranked 11th in the state, but that didn't stop them from making a run in the playoffs. The Vikings upset their way to the semifinals, where they were finally bumped by St. Georges. Stephen Re's team finished with a 15-9 record.
“A strong lineup of Delaware teams has always been a crucial part of Slam Dunk’s identity and a key to its local legitimacy,” said Matt Robinson, the tournament’s chairman. “Having these teams represent Delaware as they take on some of the best high school programs in the country is exciting.”
Organizers are expected to announce the lineup of national teams participating in Slam Dunk this summer. The tournament schedule is due to be released in the fall, and Slam Dunk will take place Dec. 27-29 at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes.
For 13 years, Delaware's Slam Dunk hosted some of the nation’s premier players, including current NBA stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and more. Under the leadership of the Delaware Sports Commission, Slam Dunk is being relaunched in an effort to regain the national reputation and strong fan base it once brought to the state.
“It’s been quite a year for basketball in Delaware, and this coming December should see the intensity level rise even more,” Robinson said.
Keep an eye on slamdunktothebeach.com and follow Slam Dunk on Facebook and Twitter (@SlamDunktoBeach) for tournament updates.