Somebody told me not too long ago that my headstone should read “Beloved Father, Husband and founder of the WOBM Christmas Classic.” 

Manasquan head coaches Andrew Bilodeau and Lisa Kukoda at the WOBM Christmas Classic Kickoff Breakfast (Townsquare Media NJ)

I’m sure it was meant as a compliment but I’m not so sure it’s something I really want to think about…at least not for another few decades. I am thinking quite a bit about the WOBM Christmas Classic because the 31st edition of New Jersey’s largest holiday basketball tournament begins this weekend at the Pine Belt Arena on the campus of Toms River High School North. 

While many will be doing their last-minute Christmas shopping 32 boys and girls high school basketball teams will begin what they hope will be a run to the championship games on December 30th. Presented by Barnabas Health, including Community Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center South the tournament begins tomorrow with 8 girls first-round games starting at 1pm when Donovan Catholic faces Toms River North.  Defending champion and top-seed Manasquan will play Shore in the last game of the day at 6:45 as games will be played simultaneously in the Pine Belt Arena and Toms River North gyms.

The same schedule goes into play on Sunday when the boys hit the court with Brick Memorial facing Point Boro in the first game of the day and top-seed Manasquan closing out the opening round schedule against Brick.  The six games in between include Toms River South facing Marlboro and Donovan Catholic battling St. Rose.

Ticket prices will remain the same they have for several years as all day admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students.  A good investment is a tournament pass which is good for all 7 days and 52 games. The cost is $20 for adults and $12 for students (while they last).

Returning this year is the $10,000 Half Court shot thanks to Gold Coast Cadillac in Oakhurst.  One lucky person will win at least $500 and get a chance to collect $10,000 if they make a shot from half court during the boy’s championship final on December 30th.   Official rules and registration can be found by visiting where you can also view the complete schedule. Special thanks to our sponsors including Seaview Orthopaedic & Medical Associates,-OceanFirst Bank, Jersey Mike’s, Clarion Hotel & Conference Center and The Villa Private Party facility.