As we head into the New Year, with plenty to look forward to in the world of local sports, high school basketball was also front and center in December 2015 as UNCW’s Trask Coliseum once agains played host to the Leon Brogden Holiday Tournament.
Now in its 22nd year, the three-day event has evolved since its inception to a boys and girls bracket, with a major title sponsor helping secure the legacy of what’s become the premiere holiday tournament across the area.
The UNCW Athletics Department has announced its 2016 Hall of Fame induction class, while the Wilmington Eagles drew national attention with a trip to Disney World for this year’s Pop Warner Super Bowl.
Men’s basketball legend John Goldsberry, college baseball coaching icon Rick Jones, track and field star Anna Raynor Marbry and women’s basketball scoring phenom Tressa Reese McKeithan will be honored during the 11th induction of the UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame on campus in early February.
For the first time since 1992, a team from the inner city of Wilmington qualified for nationals. The players, ages 12-15, battled through a nine-week season to qualify for the event December 5-12.
The Eagles scored 13 unanswered points in the second half of their opening game to pick up a come-from-behind 19-16 victory over the Naperville Chargers (Illinois). Wilmington eventually lost in the semi-finals, but don’t be surprised if you see some of those same faces making strides on a high school field near you in the not so distant future.
While we celebrate the year that was heading into 2016, the past 12 months have brought a variety of emotions only sports can provide. Looking ahead, the Port City should be proud of its accomplishments when it comes to the competitive nature of sport. The athletes, coaches, parents and fans vest so much time into what they believe in and we couldn’t think of a better time than now to recognize them for an enjoyable ride through the world of Port City Sports.