OCEAN CITY- The Ocean City Basketball Classic got underway today with teams from all over the country converging in the resort for the annual tournament now in its 35th year.
AAU teams with players in grades 3-12 from as far away as Wisconsin are competing in the classic, which is also hosting teams from throughout the mid-Atlantic region including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C. and of course Maryland. The AAU considers the Ocean City Basketball Classic one of the best tournaments in the country.
Lynn Smack, former Stephen Decatur High School standout and men’s basketball coach at CCBC-Catonsville, founded the classic and has hosted the tournament in the resort area for 35 years. Smack’s involvement in the AAU was recognized in an article in Sports Illustrated in 2004. It was originally the Berlin Basketball Classic and featured just eight teams. Several years ago, the tournament moved to Ocean City and the field has expanded to over 80 teams.
The tournament got started early this morning with games scheduled practically around the clock at host Northside Park. Boys’ and girls’ teams with players in grades 3-12 will compete in several age brackets with championship games set for Sunday.
This year, participating teams are bringing books to donate to the tournament. Players will have the opportunity to browse in the “library” and take home a book to read during the summer. The remaining books will be donated to Stephen Decatur High and local charities. Admission is $13 for adult weekend passes, $8 for seniors and children weekend passes, and $5 for an adult daily pass and $3 for seniors and children daily passes. For more information, visit www.oceancitybasketballclassic.org.