Players, coaches meet with media ahead of 40th Governors Challenge

SALISBURY, Md. – Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Governors Challenge this December, during which 110 teams will come to Wicomico County to compete in the region’s premier high school basketball tournament.

The Governors Challenge, presented by Pohanka of Salisbury, will take place Dec. 26-30 at the Wicomico Civic Center and surrounding locations. The largest holiday high school basketball tournament in the country will make its return for the first time since 2019, after the pandemic forced cancellations in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s the 40th anniversary of the tournament,” said Tournament Director James Simmons. “And it’s been a long time since we’ve had teams on the court for Governors Challenge, but we can’t wait to welcome everyone back. Our community deserves to see our local teams on the big stage and see how we stack up against the best.”

This year’s format will include four divisions: the DMVElite Showcase, the Shore Showcase, the Moolah Girls Showcase and Boys Varsity. Teams will travel from 11 states and Canada, including nationally-ranked programs with hundreds of future college basketball and professional prospects.

“While we are eager to see some of these nationally-ranked teams match up this December, we’ve also shifted our focus a bit on the local side of the event,” Simmons said. “The Shore Showcase really celebrates the high-quality matchups we have here on the Shore.”

The Governors Challenge will again be partnering with DMVElite and Under Armour, and Moolah Kicks is a new partner on the girls’ side.

“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Moolah Kicks on the girls’ division of the tournament,” Simmons said. “It’s the 50th anniversary of Title IX this year, and we want to keep growing the girls’ side of the event. It’s important to us that at Governors Challenge, we’re providing opportunities and creating a platform for the girls to be able to showcase their talent.”

The tournament will feature more than just games.

A display in the Wicomico Civic Center lobby will celebrate the past, present and future of the tournament and its roots on the Eastern Shore. Shore Hoops legends of the past 40 years will also be honored with an on-court presentation.

Student-athletes will compete in the Mountaire All-Star Experience, which begins at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, and Thursday, Dec. 29.

Both nights include the Skills Challenge, sponsored by Pohanka of Salisbury and Cedric Armwood, and the Three Point Contests, sponsored by Piedmont Airlines. The crowd-favorite Slam Dunk Contest, sponsored by The Bank of Delmarva, will take place Dec. 29. The Pohanka Half Court Shot for a Car will take place right before the Slam Dunk Contest.

Daily admission is $12, and tournament passes (valid for all days of the tournament) are $40. Daily admission for kids ages 3-11 is $6, and tournament passes for kids are $20. Kids ages 2 and under are admitted free. Limited courtside passes for the Wicomico Civic Center are $75 for the week or $25 for one day.

Students can also participate in Student Sections, sponsored by Pohanka of Salisbury. There will be free tickets for up to 100 students per game; students must have a student ID for entry. Games will air on the Delmarva Sports Network and students will compete for the best section through DSN. The winning section will receive a $500 donation to the school’s athletic department.

“This is the best high school basketball experience in the country and we are thrilled to be able to create that while celebrating a great milestone,” Simmons said.

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