The ninth annual Slamfest is being played tomorrow at the VCU Siegel Center. A quick history of the event and big names that the Richmond area has been able to see because of this event follows.
For 2010, the big game is two local teams, Benedictine vs. John Marshall. John Marshall features Travis McKie, a Wake Forest commit, while Benedictine is paced by highly recruited junior Michael Gbinije. In the other games there will be several Division I commitments, such players as PJ Hairston (UNC commit), Brennan Wyatt (Navy), and Justin Burrell (Mount St. Mary’s). The first game tips off at 4:15 and there are four games slated for the night with the JM vs. Benedictine game as the finale.
For more on this event see the Richmond Times-Dispatch article at
In last year’s event, there were a number of big names on the roster as well. McKie and Gbinije were in last years games along with Joshua Hairston who is committed to Duke for next year and Andre Dawkins who is a freshman at Duke now averaging 7.1 points per game. The other Division I name is a local area product that stayed close by for college. Darien Brothers played for Benedictine high school and is a freshman for the University of Richmond this year where he is beginning to work his way into the rotation.
ESPN wrote an article about this Slamfest that can be found here: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/basketball/mens/news/story?id=3876918
In 2008, Dawkins, McKie, and Brothers all played in this tournament as well. In addition, UNC sophomore Ed Davis and VCU sophomore Bradford Burgess both played for Benedictine.
The sixth Slamfest was played in December of 2006 and featured a game between local area powerhouse Benedictine versus national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy. The Benedictine team starred Davis and Burgess while the Oak Hill Academy team had a couple of bigger names. For starters Nolan Smith, who averages 18.3 points per game this year playing under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. The other star player for Oak Hill is current NBA star for the Milwaukee Bucks, Brandon Jennings. Brandon Jennings is one of two legit candidates for Rookie of the Year this year and already has a 55 point game in his short NBA career.
In February of 2006 it was the other candidate for Rookie of the Year playing in the Slamfest. Tyreke Evans, now of the Sacramento Kings, scored 48 points for American Christian in his lone Slamfest appearance. There were also a large number of Division I players in the tournament this year. Lance Thomas (Duke), Vernon Macklin (Georgetown transferred to Florida), Eugene Harvey (Seton Hall), Stefan Welsh (Arkansas), Tony Lewis (Loyola MD), Ed Davis (UNC), and Samardo Samuels (Louisville) all played in Slamfest V.
It was hard to find any information on the fourth annual Slamfest. The only game confirmed was Potomac vs. Hermitage. Hermitage featured Jameel Sewell, who was the starting quarterback for Virginia this past season and Greg Redford, who played basketball at Eastern Kentucky before transferring to Division II power Virginia Union. Potomac was led by Eric Hayes who plays at the University of Maryland.
In 2004 the premier game was between Benedictine and St. Benedict’s Prep. Benedictine featured Bambole Osby, who played at New Mexico State before transferring to Maryland and Reid Augst, who played at UNC-Asheville. St. Benedict’s Prep featured NBA star JR Smith, who now plays for the Denver Nuggets where he averages 14.9 points per game.
The 2003 tournament was the second Slamfest and featured a lot of highly touted players. Amongst the Division I signees were Vern Hamilton (Clemson), Linas Kleiza (Missouri, later NBA Denver Nuggets, now playing in Greece), Bambole Osby (Maryland), JR Reynolds (UVA), and Isaiah Swann (Florida State).
For more on this year’s Slamfest check out this article on Scout.com: http://scouthoops.scout.com/2/91217.html
The very first Slamfest was held in 2002 and featured JR Reynolds and Marquie Cooke, a sophomore at the time who ended up committing to Virginia Tech. A certain Richmond Sports Examiner was also in this tournament where he had a three-pointer to win the game that hit off the iron as his team lost to Kellam by two points. This was the year that started the madness that now features future Division I and NBA players.