Governor’s Challenge Basketball field announced

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The Governor’s Challenge Basketball Tournament, the largest holiday basketball tournament in the state of Maryland, returns to the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center and Wicomico High School on Dec. 26-27, 29-30.

Officials from the Governor’s Challenge have announced the tournament field for this year’s event that has long been a staple for holiday basketball on Delmarva.

Now in its 33rd year, the Governor’s Challenge will host 52 teams from around the region including Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, New York, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.

“The growth that this tournament has seen over the years is very special,” said Butch Waller, Head Basketball Coach at Wicomico High School.

“It was really born in the 1981-1982 season when we held a double header at the Civic Center with Dematha — who had former Maryland and NBA star Adrian Branch — St. Johns, Crisfield and W–Hi,” Waller said.

“It grew every year after with the help of some key people in the community and now 33 years later has evolved into the Governor’s Challenge and 52 teams coming to town,” he said. “It’s hard to believe.”

A key contributor of the growth in this year’s event has come from the tournament’s new partnership with DMVelite Showcase Events. This partnership has attracted top talent from around the region and the addition of the DMVelite Showcase.

The showcase will include a mix of local teams and top programs from around the region to be featured in primetime. Milford Mill Academy, West Charlotte HS, Friends School of Baltimore, Wicomico HS, St. Maria Goretti HS, Parkside HS, Patterson HS and Kent County HS will take part in the showcase.

Top players taking part in the showcase include Justin Jenifer (Milford Mill), Myles Douglas (Friends), Colen Gaynor (Parkside), Derek Oliver (Patterson) and Kani Coles (Edmondson). Jenifer, a 2015 point guard, is committed to the University of Cincinnati and is ranked in the Rivals150 National Recruiting Rankings and listed as a top 20 point guard in the country according to Scout.com.

Douglas is a 2017 guard with interest from many notable D-I programs including scholarship offers from Hofstra, Miami, Richmond and USC and growing interest from Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse, Virginia and West Virginia.

Gaynor, a local prospect, holds an offer from James Madison and is gaining interest from other programs throughout the region. Oliver and Coles will compete for the Baltimore City Player of the Year award and both have growing interest from D-I programs throughout the country.

The eight showcase teams will be joined by 40 boy’s teams from the region.

This year, the boys will be sharing the spotlight with the Inaugural Girls Division. Included in the girls division are top programs from around the state of Maryland including Mardela HS, River Hill HS, Catonsville HS and Walkersville HS.

“We are very excited about the field of teams in this year’s event. It is a collection of many levels of talent from all around the region that are coming together for four days this holiday season,” said James Simmons, Governor’s Challenge Tournament Director.

“We have a strong history with our existing tournament, the addition of the DMVelite Showcase and the girls division are sure to continue the growth and expansion of our event and provide a great atmosphere for fans to be a part of this holiday season,” he said. “We are growing and expanding into a basketball festival for the region.”

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