basketball

Bragging Rights ‘Battle of the Decades: Idols Become Rivals’ at Decatur, Saturday

(Nov. 29, 2019) After a two-year hiatus, the Stephen Decatur High School “Bragging Rights” basketball tournament returns this Saturday, featuring more than 70 former players ranging in age from 19 to about 60 years old.

“I feel really good about it this year,” said organizer Durran Whaley. “The momentum is building. A lot of people are talking about it.”

Doors will open for this year’s Bragging Rights “Battle of the Decades: Idols Become Rivals” alumni tournament, presented by Studio & Co, at 11 a.m. Admission cost is $5.

“[Participants] may be playing against people that they might have looked up too,” he said, describing why the tournament was billed “Battle of the Decades: Idols Become Rivals,” this year.

The first game is scheduled for noon. It will feature “new school” Seahawks who played from 2000-2010 on one team facing athletes who competed from 2011-2018.

The second game is slated to start at 1 p.m. The “old school” match will include players who took the court for Decatur from 1954-1989 versus athletes who competed from 1990-1999.

“Our team ’99 won the first championship [and] the last one the old school ’54-89 won, so the 1 p.m. game will be the two titleholders playing against one another, kinda like a grudge match. It’s the premiere game,” Whaley said.

The 1954-1989 team includes Decatur and Salisbury University alumni, Andre Foreman. He also played professional overseas and still holds the career scoring record at Salisbury University, Whaley said.

The ladies will go head-to-head at 2 p.m. Former Lady Seahawks will take on the Bayside Allstars, which includes top players in the conference from years’ past.

Spectators can participate in a three-point shootout contest following the women’s game, at 3 p.m. The cost to enter is $20. Anyone can compete. The winner will be presented half of the contest registration fee.

During the break, members of the community will be honored for their contribution and support of basketball in Berlin.

The championship match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and include the winners of games one and two.

DJ J-Town will play music during the event and Bill Baker of Power 101.7 will be the emcee. Attendees can also meet professional NBA dancer and Decatur alumni/former cheerleader, Daniella Celia, during the day. The youth LA Heat Dance Team of Berlin will also perform.

“It will be a fun time,” Whaley said. “Come out and support and create some memories.”

He expects the event to be a reunion for both players and spectators.

All proceeds will benefit the Decatur boys’ basketball program.

With proceeds from the inaugural tournament in 2015, the Decatur program was able to purchase a Shoot-A-Way machine. Money generated from the second annual event in 2016 went to help the team purchase a third jersey for games, Whaley said.

Whaley said the response and turnout was great for the first event, but that dwindled for the second tournament, which was why it did not take place the last two years.

“I felt like people needed to miss it to really appreciate it,” he said. “Berlin is a basketball community. So many generations, so many memories. It’s how we connect as a community.”

The activities will wrap up with a party at Dry Dock 28 on 28th Street, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission cost is $20. Music will be provided by DJ Ruckus and DJ J-Town. Changing Phaces Band will also perform. Hosting the event will be Drizzle and Nikki XOXO.

For more information about the tournament, search Decatur Bragging Rights on Facebook.

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