Governor’s Challenge To Feature Shore Legends

SALISBURY- A new wrinkle in the Governor’s Challenge holiday basketball tournament that returns later this month for the 38th year will pay homage to some of the great state championship teams from the Eastern Shore over nearly the last two decades.

Now entering its 38th year, the annual Governor’s Challenge holiday basketball tournament will feature 120 of the top high school teams from all over the country in a four-day showcase event from December 26 through December 30 at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center and other venues in and around the Salisbury area. Before the main event gets going right after Christmas, however, the Governor’s Challenge will feature a day paying homage to some of the great players and teams from around the Eastern Shore on December 22.

The December 22 event gets started with a mini-tournament of sorts featuring some of the high school state championship teams dating back to 2000. For example, represented in the event will be the 2000 state championship team from Crisfield, Bennett’s 2003 state championship team, the 2002 and 2014 state championship teams from Pocomoke, the 2001 and 2008 state championship teams from Snow Hill and the 2002 state championship team from Wicomico.

Also on December 22, the festivities will include a Bayside South versus Bayside North Legends Alumni All-Star game featuring some of the top players from all over the Eastern Shore from that era. The December 22 event concludes with an All-Star Three-Point Shootout.

After the Christmas break, the Governor’s Challenge will resume with action practically around the clock at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, UMES and various high schools in the area featuring 120 of the best high school programs in the country. Teams from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Canada will compete over the four-day event.

“This year, the Governor’s Challenge is going to an entirely new level for basketball on the Eastern Shore,” said Tournament Director James Simmons. “We legitimately have top talent from all across the country coming to town. The event is truly recognized nationwide, bringing great exposure to our local athletes.”

This year’s format will feature a DMVElite Showcase Division featuring some of the top teams from around the region and beyond, along with a girls’ showcase division. The tournament also features a varsity boys division and a varsity girls division.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.