What coaches say about the Diamond State Classic….
Thank you from all of us at LuHi. We have played in numerous tourneys over the years. But this one had true meaning. It wasn’t just about hoops. I try to teach my kids life’s lessons along the way. You and all your colleagues are classy people. We are grateful for your invitation to your special event. Happy and healthy new year to you and your families. Please give Joe Mac a big hug and thank you.

Rich Slater
Head Coach of Long Island Lutheran


Thank You for the invite to the Diamond State Classic. We were just so impressed with the entire event. Every aspect of the Tournament was outstanding- the lodgings, the venue, the practice facility, the support of the staff, the gifts to the players, the hospitality room for the coaches, but mostly, the awareness of the “gold ribbon” and the B+ Foundation. Joe McDonough’s message was just so heart wrenching, Joey Farrell’s courage was amazing and our young Hero Dane Johnson’s spirit was contagious. We were lucky enough to take home the trophy and we will display it with pride. But those 3 guys, especially, are the true Champions! Hats off to them and the entire Wilmington and Delaware community for their support of one of the finest Tournaments we have ever been invited to. Win or lose, we were humbly reminded that basketball is just a game. We were reminded of just how precious life is and that we are so lucky to enjoy every day given to us!

Best Regards,

Bookie Rosemond
Archbishop Spalding


Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your event. We as a team benefitted greatly from the experience and are honored to have been part if such a worthwhile cause. Happy New Year!

Steve DiPatri
Sacred Heart High School
Vineland New Jersey


I have to say it was a great experience for the players and the coaches. I would also comment on the hospitality of all those who volunteer for the event and thank you St. Elizabeth’s for hosting the Classic. It is a true classic and fantastic experience for all those who participated. Our girls were not sure what to expect but I think the opening ceremonies really gave the true meaning of the Classic. Yeah everyone played and the competition was very good but anything we can do to help another family with a little misfortune really hits home. I believe the DMA Girls Basketball team really got the message and the true meaning of giving. Thanks again.

Fran Simeone
DMA Girls Varsity


We have been fortunate enough to play in The Diamond State Classic on multiple occasions. Our staff was so impressed the first time, we have asked to come back whenever John and his staff would have us. Amazingly, the event just keeps getting better. The professionalism of the Diamond State Classic staff is evident from the initial contact about getting into the event all the way up until the last buzzer and you are walking out at the event’s conclusion.

If you wonder what makes the Diamond State Classic so special, the list is long but consider the following: the competition level is strong every year, the staff makes you and your team feel like guests and treats you as such, the facility at St. Elizabeth’s is as nice a place to play basketball as anywhere, and the organization of the entire event is on point. Combine all of this with the knowledge that the Special Olympics, the B+ Foundation and many students across Delaware are the real winners, as much, if not all of the tournament proceeds support all of these worthy causes.As a tournament operator myself (Under Armour Best of Maryland Tournament), I know it is not easy. You would never know it the way the Diamond State classic Staff has it working. John, Steve, Walt, Kathy, and the entire staff; Thank you so much. We hope to be back many more years.

Steve Pisarski
Damascus High School
Damascus, MD


Just wanted to say Thank You for allowing Ursuline Academy to be part of THE Diamond State Classic . We appreciate the invitation and are thrilled to represent The Great State of Delaware in the top bracket . Thanks Again from The Ursuline Basketball Community .

With Respect,
John Noonan
Ursuline Academy
Wilmington, DE


To John Gretchen and the Diamond State Classic Committee:
Not only did we have a tremendous basketball experience, the DSC provided our players and our families with so much more! We have continued to maintain a relationship with our “Hero” that we adopted while at the tournament, and he has taught us many life lessons. We are grateful for the experience, and look forward to participating in the future.Sincerely,
Kristi Britten
Trinity High School
Camp Hill, PA


Dear Diamond State Classic and my buddy John Gretchen,

St. John the Baptist has had the good fortune of being invited to the Diamond State Classic several times over the last 10 years or so and it is simply one of the best run and dynamic tournaments in the country. SJB has been to Florida, the Nike Tournament in Arizona and numerous holiday tournaments across the Eastern Seaboard and I would have to say that none compare to the love and dedication John and the Diamond State staff and volunteers put into running such a wonderful event that continues to grow in stature and inspire countless young women to excellence on the hardwood and to be greater individuals off the court. Good Luck Diamond State and Best Wishes for your continued success in the years to come.

Ted Oberg
Varsity Girls Basketball Coach
St. John the Baptist High School,
Long Island, NY


The Diamond State Classic is a top notch tournament. The committee members make sure that each and every player has an enjoyable experience, year in and year out. We have participated in many tournaments, and I can honestly say that the Diamond State Classic is the classiest, most organized tournament of them all.

Tom Ferrier
Girl’s Varsity Basketball Coach
St. Elizabeth High School
Wilmington, DE


I would recommend the Diamond State Classic to any team that is looking for quality competition. John Gretchen spent a lot of time trying to get the seeded bracketing correct so that everyone would have good games. After the first round match ups all of the games were indeed very competitive, with either team able to win right down to the wire. That was very important in our deciding to travel 2400 miles to be in a tournament. We were able to tour Washington DC and Philadelphia during our visit and make it an educational time as well. You can not go wrong in attending the Diamond State Classic.

Dale D. Pofenroth
Couer d’Alene High School


It has been the Corcoran HS girls’ basketball team’s privilege to participate in the DSC on several occasions. Each year we have noticed growth and expansion of this tourney in all areas, and 2008 was no different. The facilities, the staff, the hotel and the tournament organization were all top notch. The addition of the B+ Foundation was truly inspirational, and became a teachable moment for my players, pointing out that there are things in life much more important than basketball. Regardless of wins or losses, we have always returned to Syracuse a better team due to our participation in the DSC. We have great gratitude to consider ourselves part of the DSC family. Best of luck for continued success.

Coach Marsh
Corcoran High School
Syracuse, NY


The tournament was a highlight in my coaching career and the girls loved it … thanks for everything you and your wife and staff did for us!

All my best,
Coach Gregg Kalina
Roosevelt High School
Seattle, WA


Once again we had a great time and great all around experience. Our atheletes are truly thankful to you and everyone at the DSC.

Take care, see you in 2010 if you’ll have us.

Coach Kurt Guelsdorf
Oregon City High School
Oregon City, Oregon


… thank you and your tournament committee again for providing us with another experience that leaves us speechless. You have a staff of classy people and the B+ crew just added another outstand dimension to a fabulous event. While the basketball experience is always great, it pales in comparison to the life and humanitarian experiences we gain. I look forward to coming again. As it looks now, we will plan to return in 2010. Hopefully my talented but young sophomores and freshmen will be more mature and ready to make an impact on the basketball court.

Hayden and his family were a blessing for us and they will always be a part of the McAuley family. The players will never forget that experience.

Happy New Year and please stay in touch,

Coach Wil Smith
Catherine McAuley High School
Portland, ME


On behalf of Houston Christian High School and the girl’s basketball program, thank you for a fantastic tournament experience. Having been a part of the original organizing committee and then returning to play in the Classic 18 years later, I was “blown away” by the development and overall size of the event. From the fantastic and inspiring opening ceremonies to the competition of the games, it proved to be the best tournament experience I have ever been a part of in my 25 years of coaching. The St. Elizabeth Center is a beautiful facility to serve as host and the committee members were exceptional in the organization of the tournament. Special “thank you” to old friend John Gretchen, a one-of-a-kind gentleman and truly great guy, and Frank Aiello at Wilmington University who was so very gracious to us.

The icing on the cake is the positive impact the tournament provides for youngsters of the State of Delaware and its surrounding area. Knowing that tournament proceeds help those in need rather than put money in someone’s personal bank account is very comforting. The odd thing is, the ladies of the Houston Christian High School girl’s basketball team gained the most riches of all—an awesome experience and great memories that will last a lifetime!

Thank you and we hope you will have us back real soon!!

Coach Rusty Rogers
Houston Christian High School
Houston, TX