This year’s Beach Ball field stacks up as one of best yet

Like any event that is lucky enough to last 31 years, the Beach Ball Classic has experienced peaks and valleys during its long successful run.

Some years the tournament attracts a bumper crop of high school hoops talent; other years the talent level is down a bit. Just two days into the 2011 Beach Ball, it’s safe to say this year’s tourney is a peak.

But where does it stack up in the annals to Beach Ball history? Like anything in sports when you try to compare different eras, it’s hard to accurately measure exactly which fields are better than others.

But there are a handful of years that stand out in the minds of those who have witnessed them all, many of them coming during the Beach Ball’s heyday of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

And while it’s too early to tell how this year’s Beach Ball field will eventually stack up (they haven’t even had time to play in college or the NBA yet), it’s safe to say this is one of the best Beach Balls in recent memory.

Here’s a look at some of the best years in Beach Ball history, listed chronologically, and how this one compares:

* 1988 – Featured future NBA stars Kenny Anderson, Jimmy Jackson and Grant Hill and a memorable finals matchup between the former two at Socastee High’s “The Wave,” which had to bring in additional seats to accommodate the huge crowds. Anderson led Archbishop Molloy to its third Beach Ball title, then took Georgia Tech to the Final Four the next season.

* 1994 – The Beach Ball’s first year at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center was also a banner year for talent, featuring future NBA Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter and Jermaine O’Neal, who went straight from high school to “the League.” Jamison and Carter went on to star at North Carolina.

* 1995 – This field set the standard by which all other Beach Balls are judged. Future NBA superstar Kobe Bryant put on a show that let fans know they were witnessing greatness, and Mike Bibby put on the two most prolific scoring performances in tournament history that still stand today – his single-game scoring records of 48 and 45 points. Like Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal went on to play in the NBA the next year.

* 2000 – Probably the last year the Beach Ball featured the national talent level like the early days. The 2000 Beach Ball saw its first player go on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft in Kwame Brown, but Raymond Felton and tiny Latta (S.C.) stole the show by upsetting national powerhouse DeMatha in the first round. Future N.C. State and NBA player Julius Hodge was also in that field.

* 2011: While it’s too soon to tell if this year’s field will produce future results, there’s no question that it ranks right up there with any Beach Ball yet. Bishop Gorman’s Shabazz Muhammad, rated as the No. 1 player in the nation, lived up to the hype Tuesday night, and Prestonwood Christian’s Julius Randle and Whitney Young’s Jahlil Okafor enter the tourney with similarly lofty credentials.

It remains to be seen where this year’s tourney will rank among the greatest Beach Balls ever, but it’s certainly going to be fun finding out.

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [more]

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff Classic

Local teams look ahead to 30th CNB Kickoff ClassicConway National Bank will sponsor the 30th annual CNB Kickoff [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach