Getting Ready for the WOBM Christmas Classic with Breakfast
WOBM Christmas Classic week officially began Monday with the annul Tip Off Breakfast which has been hosted and sponsored by the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Toms River for twenty-two years.
More than 260 players, coaches and guests were not only treated to an outstanding breakfast but heard from Monmouth University men’s basketball coach King Rice who served as guest speaker.
The breakfast is a big part of the tradition as some of the current coaches attended when they were players in high school and remember quite well what it was like to be in the room with teams you’ll be playing during the tournament. While teammates sit together there is plenty of “networking” in the buffet line as many players know their opponents quite well from travel teams, summer leagues, etc.
The breakfast is often a social gathering and a positive way to set the stage for the six-day, 52-game tournament that will be contested at the Toms River Athletic Arena, formally the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. Superintendent of Schools David Healey welcomed the players and coaches and said they are once again excited to host the area’s biggest and most prestigious holiday tournament.
This year’s WOBM Classic is presented by See the Rim Basketball Academy which just opened last month in the Home Depot Shopping Center in Toms River. They are among the more than 20 sponsors who help contribute in one fashion or another and that group includes RWJ Barnabas Health/Community Medical Center who once again supports the academic scholarships which will be awarded to eight student-athletes who played in last year’s tournament.
Receiving $500 at halftime of the championship games on December 30th will be Dejah Adams (Manchester/Johns Hopkins), Di’Avian Foster (Neptune/Georgia State), Lindsay Hernandez (Brick Memorial/West Chester), Ryann Maier (TR North/Delaware), Darrion Carrington (TR North/Yale), Mark Caverly (RBC/William & Mary), Joseph Manso (Brick Memorial/Salisbury) and Steve Staklinski (Freehold Township/Central Florida) who was the MVP last year when the Patriots won the tournament.
Over the years the WOBM Christmas Classic has awarded more than $80,000 in scholarships to players based on their academic performance while in high school.