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Good Guys vs Cancer Basketball Showcase graphic
Hannah Nash
Good Guys vs Cancer Basketball Showcase graphic

Author: Steve Hanf

Good Guys tournament adds another day of high-flying hoops action

Year by year, First Flight High School men’s basketball coach Chad Williams has built the Good Guys vs Cancer Basketball Showcase into one of the biggest and best tournaments in the state.

Even better than the show-stopping talent on the court is the money raised for the American Cancer Society and local causes. Earlier this year, Williams received a plaque from the national Coaches vs. Cancer organization highlighting the fact that the FFHS tournament was last year’s top fundraising team.
“We've got over 50 Division-I kids coming in and when I talk about all of this and that, it sort of gets away from the true meaning and the reason for it,” Williams said. “It's all about watching what my dad went through and trying to help others that are going through it.”
The sixth annual tournament named in memory of Williams’ dad, Guy, tips off at FFHS on Wednesday, Nov. 29, for the first of four days of action. For the second straight year, the FFHS women’s varsity team will open the tournament, taking on local rival Cape Hatteras, but this year’s event marks the first time Good Guys has stretched to a fourth day.
Scheduling public and private schools from North Carolina and Virginia in 21 games over four days might be a logistical challenge, but it’s a good problem to have. Everyone who has competed in the Good Guys wants to come back, and teams that haven’t had the chance yet are clamoring to get in. Williams already has booked two teams for the 2024 tournament.
“We added Wednesday in and mixed in two local games on Wednesday and two on Thursday followed by two really high-level games,” Williams said. “Then Friday and Saturday are both really, really high-profile games all day long.”
There’s plenty for visiting coaches and players to love about the event. It’s for a great cause, of course. Good Guys pays for the hotel rooms and some meals thanks to generous sponsorships from a number of local businesses. When they’re not playing, teams have the beach to enjoy and plenty of options for early-season team bonding.
The crowds, meanwhile, pack the stands and make clear their appreciation for every deep 3, emphatic rejection and monster slam.
“I think what's unique about our atmosphere here is that the fan base is all local and they're cheering for good basketball and not necessarily for a team, so every game is exciting as the next for them,” Williams said. “Our exposure is really good with what we're doing with some of the social networking. It's great for our sponsors – they've been fantastic – and it's a great shot in the arm for our community, too. All the way around it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Albemarle Landscapes and Tree Services remains the title sponsor of the event, and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau is once again offering its support along with a host of other sponsors. All proceeds from the event are donated. Last year’s tournament raised more than $17,000, shared with the American Cancer Society and the family of then-senior Gwen Botson toward her cancer battle.
This year, Williams said the goal is to raise $25,000. And with cancer once again directly impacting FFHS this year, 80 percent of all VIP Ticket sales will go directly to chorus and strings teacher John Buford as he fights leukemia. This year’s tournament T-shirts will be orange, the color for leukemia awareness. “He's been such a tremendous person for not just First Flight High School, but Dare County in general, and I wanted to honor him in some way,” Williams said. “It’s going directly to him and I hope he does something wonderful and fun with it as he continues to battle.”
On the court, one of the biggest matchups comes Friday night at 7:30 when defending 4A state champ Myers Park of Charlotte plays John Marshall of Richmond, Virginia, which was the top-ranked team in the country most of last year. Word of God from Raleigh returns for games Thursday and Saturday night with top recruit Jayden Quaintance, who just signed with Kentucky. Moravian Prep is back with fan favorite guard Eli Ellis, a South Carolina commit. The Burlington School has one of the top freshmen in the country in King Gibson. And the list goes on and on…
The Nighthawks cap the action Friday night against 4A state runner-up Richmond Senior and NC State commit Paul McNeil Jr., and again on Saturday against Kinston in the traditional tournament finale. Last year, the Nighthawks beat Kinston for the first time ever to thrill the home fans. From the first game to the 21st, anything can happen in this annual treat for basketball junkies.
“Every team that's coming in has got a star player that you're gonna see playing on TV next year. We're blessed. We're honored. It's gonna be a really exciting, fun event,” Williams said. “And it's all for a great cause.”

Ticket Information

$80 VIP Pass –
$40 Tournament Pass –
$30 Weekend Pass –
Single Day/Game Entry Tickets – $10 Wednesday and Thursday; $15 Friday; $20 Saturday

Showcase Schedule

Wednesday, Nov. 29

  • FFHS Girls vs Cape Hatteras, 4:30
  • Manteo vs Cape Hatteras, 6
  • WS Christian National vs Hargrave (Va.) 7:30
  • Moravian Prep National vs Peninsula Catholic (Va.), 9

Thursday, Nov. 30

  • Currituck vs Peninsula Catholic (Va.), 4:30
  • Camden vs Nansemond Suffolk (Va.), 6
  • Word of God vs WS Christian National, 7:30
  • The Burlington School vs Moravian Prep, 9

Friday, Dec. 1

  • Greenfield School vs Blue Ridge Academy (Va.), 4:30
  • Cannon School vs St. Anne's Belfield (Va.), 6
  • Myers Park vs John Marshall (Va.), 7:30
  • FFHS vs Richmond Senior, 9

Saturday, Dec. 2

  • Hertford County vs Peninsula Catholic (Va.), 9 am
  • Wilson Prep vs Catholic (Va.), 10:30
  • Greenfield School vs Landstown (Va.), 12
  • The Burlington School vs Blue Ridge (Va.), 1:30
  • Millbrook vs Cannon School, 3
  • Richmond Senior vs John Marshall (Va.), 4:30
  • Moravian Prep National vs St. Anne's Belfield (Va.), 6
  • Word of God vs Myers Park, 7:30
  • FFHS vs Kinston, 9