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Baltimore team wins Battle of Weekend Warriors


The basketball court at Hoggard High School in Wilmington served as the hub location for the 20th annual Battle of the Weekend Warriors Classic. For the players, it’s their off-season. The tournament serves as a summertime tune-up. Tournament director Lonnie Payton said, “As usual it’s highly successful with a lot of competing teams, from as far as way as Fort Walton Beach, Florida. We have 26 teams from all over the country and I think the fans have enjoyed it.”

A handful of Wilmington teams competed in the Battle of the Weekend Warriors, in fact 2 of them went head to head on Saturday afternoon. The Evolution vs. RAW contest featured former New Hanover Wildcat James Beatty. He will be playing college basketball this year in the Big East Conference for Rutgers University.

“It’s always nice to play against all the top talent in this tournament. I’m glad to be able to showcase my talent to see what I can come out with – hopefully it’ll be a championship,” Beatty said.

It turns out the title does not go to James Beatty. Sunday’s championship game featured Frank’s Finest out of Baltimore, Maryland versus the Courtesy Cab Company from Greenville.

Baltimore’s go-to-guy was Will Thomas. He led George Mason to the Final Four in 2006. Thomas and company got off to a 14-0 lead, but Courtesy Cab pulled within one to make a game of it. The 2009 championship went to the guys from Baltimore with a final score of 67-58.

Will Thomas was named MVP of the championship game. Darnell Hopkins claimed MVP honors for the entire tournament. Hopkins played at Murray State.

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videoOver the years, the Battle of the Weekend Warriors Basketball Tournament in Wilmington has featured a handful of NBA pros. Chucky Brown, Raymond Felton and Chris Wilcox to name a few. The tournament didn’t sport any NBA names over the weekend, but it did showcase a number of collegiate players.

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