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Lewes, Delaware
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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, :Friday, December 11 -: December 17; 1998, 4? % The National Tournament Nation's top players head for Cape once again Slam Dunk tourney opens Saturday, Dec. 26, with 39 teams playing 44 games By Dave Frederick The marquee sign in front of the Roadhouse Steak joint on Route One has been counting down the days until Christmas. Local bas- ketball fans love that sign because they can just add a free throw and yell "Slam Dunk Baby! I'm way outta the house for five days baby! Hospitality room pass homey! I'm watchingbasketball, talking hoops and bulking up for the dreary months of January and February. Anybody in this family got a prob- lem with that because if you do don't bring your weak junk around me!" Only 20 years ago it was big news in Lewes if one of the 50 singing groups that call them- selves the Drifters or Imperials were singing at the DeBraak Restaurant on a Tuesday night . There were no outlet malls or fast food restaurants. And the shame of it was that the great Cape Hen- lopen undefeated state champi- onship teams of 1974 and 1975 coached by Ralph Baird never had a chance to play anybody foreign. They did play in front of full hous- es but everybody knew every- body. It was like the old John Kink line when he left West Vir- ginia to pursue a career in profes- sional baseball. "Before I left my hometown I never met anybody I hadn't met before." The Slam Dunk tourna- ment has pro- vided a two- way window for the local residents of JACOBS coastal Sus- sex County. Delaware players can now look out into the power struc- ture of the entire country and ei- ther test themselves and see how they measure up or just sit back in wonderment at the level of skills and quality of programs that come to play at The Slam. And visitors from all over the country, with the exception of Steelton, Pa. come to the resort community and just marvel at the beauty and conve- nience of the area. "This is a tournament for Sus: sex County and as far as I'm con- cerned this is where it is staying," tournament director Bobby Jacobs said this week.. "I don't have chil- dren so this is my baby. This is my contribution to the community." Jacobs has taken to calling him- self the executive director and CEO of this national tournament but I and others know he is simply the Tasmanian Devil of Tourna- ment Directors. "When are you going to do the story 'What makes the Taz tick?', Bobby has often asked me. My an- swer is as soon as I can strap him down to a metal table and main- line some Quaaludes into his sys- tem. A Spock "Mind Mer' into Bobby's brain would Vulcanize the most creative person. Nobody can do what Bobby Jacobs does, at the energy level he performs, but no one has ever seen him crash. The Slam Dunk To the Beach National Holiday Basketball Invi- tational has progressed from eight teams in 1990 to 39 teams compet- ing this year. The games will be played from Friday, Dec. 26 straight through to Wednesday, Dec. 30 which includes a total of 44 games including the newly _ added Sunday shootout - an all- day slugfest matching power on power from around the country. Teams rated in the Super 25 from "USA Today, competing in the tournament include No. 7 Lower Richland of Hopkins, S.C. Continued on page 50 Angle Moon photo Players in the 1997 Siam Dunk To The Beach tourney battle for possession of the ball under the hoop on the court of Cape Henlopen High School. This year's tourney list includes 85 All-American players Top 25 powerhouse teams from around the country that will also test the national championship waters include Rice from Manhattan, N.Y.; Baltimore Dunbar; Gon- zaga of Washington D.C., Shaker Heights from Ohio; Good Counsel from Wheaton, Md.; and new national and east coast power The Newport School of Kensington, Md. Eighty-five players in this year's national invitational, including numerous top sopho- mores and juniors, are listed on some All- American national list. Eight Slam Dunk to the Beach teams are expected to be rated among the nation's top 50 teams. This year's tournament will be held Saturday, Dec. 26, through Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes. Tickets for this national event will be $55 for season passes and $20 for daily tickets and will be sold at the door only if avail- able. Here's a list of some of the nation's top high school basketball players who will be playing in this year' s edition of Slam Dunk To The Beach: NATION'S TOP 10 SENIORS: 7'0" center Jonathan Bender, Picayune High School in Picayune, Miss.; 6'2" guard Ja- son Williams, St. Joseph High School, Metuchen, N.J. NATION'S TOP 25 SENIORS: 6'2" guard Kenny Satterfield, Rice High School, Manhattan, N.Y: Continued on page 50 First-time teams coming from Texas, Utah, Rhode Island The Slam Dunk To The Beach National Holiday Basketball Invitational will again feature many of the top high school basket- ball teams and players from around the country playing in this national tournament. The tournament will include for the first time teams from Utah, Texas, South Caroli- na, Mississippi, and Rhode Island.