SALISBURY — The popular Governor’s Challenge Holiday Basketball Tournament in Wicomico was named this week as the “Locally Created Event of the Year” for 2015 by a national sports event organization.
The Wicomico County Convention and Visitors Bureau this week were honored as the recipient of the 2015 “Locally Created Event of the Year” for cities with a population under 250,000 by the National Association of Sports Commissions. The announcement came during the NASC’s Sports Event Symposium being held this week in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Locally Created Event of the Year award goes to an active NASC member with the most outstanding locally created event. The event can be a newly created or a long-standing event, but must be created by the submitting organization to serve a local community or organizational need. This year, the Wicomico County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Governor’s Challenge Holiday Basketball Tournament fit the bill.
“The Governor’s Challenge Basketball Tournament shows that a community working together can create and grow a grassroots event that can have a significant economic impact and to help an underserved market to gain recognition on a regional and national level,” the NASC judging panel said in a statement. “Using a variety of media, including social media, the tournament was successful in creating excitement leading up to and throughout the event.”
The Governor’s Challenge, long a staple on the holiday basketball tournament scene, has steadily grown to become the largest high school tournament in Maryland and perhaps the largest on the east coast. Running for a week in late December, the tournament features roughly 100 of the top boys’ and girls’ teams from around the region from Virginia to New York.
For years, the tournament featured the top high school basketball programs from both Maryland and Delaware competing against each other for bragging rights in the neighboring states along with signature desserts on the line for both states’ governors. The tournament was rebranded in 2010, and thanks in large part to a partnership with DMVelite Showcase Events, now features some of the best boys’ and girls’ teams from all over the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.
In addition to the tournament games, the Governor’s Challenge also features several special events showcasing the vast amount of talent competing including a slam dunk contest and a three-point shooting contest.