Since 2016, Salem High School, the Western Virginia Basketball Officials Association, and the City of Salem have joined forces to honor the memory of Adam Ward by hosting a basketball classic in his honor. Adam was tragically taken from us on August 26, 2015, while working as a photojournalist for WDBJ7. The 2007 Salem High School alumnus, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011, played football at Salem High School and was an avid fan and supporter of all types of athletic events his entire life.
"Adam Ward personified the true meaning of a student-athlete,” said Grant Smythers, Salem High School teacher and tournament co-founder. “He was a huge sports fan, who loved high school basketball, and the Adam Ward Basketball Classic will highlight some of the best teams in the state of Virginia each season.”
The event is being sponsored by various businesses and organizations throughout the Roanoke Valley and the majority of the proceeds from the event will go to the Adam Ward Scholarship Fund that is administered by the Salem Educational Foundation and Alumni Association. To date, the Adam Ward Classic has contributed over $80,000 dollars to the Adam Ward Scholarship Fund. In addition, the Adam Ward Classic Committee will be making donations to the Make a Wish Foundation and Special Olympics in Adam’s honor.
“The money generated from this event will provide scholarship opportunities for high school students who were deemed Adam-like during their high school careers," Smythers said. “Salem High School is honored to once again host such a worthy event for such a special young man."
The Western Virginia Basketball Officials Association, which has supporting charitable causes for decades, has been instrumental in making the event a success each year.
“This is a great way to honor Adam Ward’s memory, as well as all of the others who have been touched and affected by his passing,” said WVBOA Commissioner, Jerry Spangler. “I think Adam would be pleased we are doing this through the game of basketball.”
To learn more about sponsorship or scholarship opportunities, please contact Grant Smythers firstname.lastname@example.org, Hank Luton HankLuton@gmail.com, Jerry Spangler email@example.com, Drew Barrett firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chris Williams at email@example.com.
This year’s event will feature 11 different games on two days in two gyms for one amazing cause.
Tickets are $10 for each day of the classic for adults, $5 for ages 5-9 and kids under 5 are free.
FRIDAY – FEBRUARY 3 – SALEM HIGH SCHOOL
6:00 p.m. Glenvar vs. Salem (Varsity Girls)
7:45 p.m. Glenvar vs. Salem (Varsity Boys)
FRIDAY – FEBRUARY 3 – GLENVAR HIGH SCHOOL
6:00 p.m. Salem vs. Glenvar (JV Boys)
7:45 p.m. Salem vs. Glenvar (JV Girls)
SATURDAY - FEBRUARY 4 – SALEM HIGH SCHOOL
10:00 a.m. William Byrd vs. George Wythe (Boys)
11:45 a.m. Auburn vs. Narrows (Boys)
1:30 p.m. Carroll County vs. LCA (Girls)
3:15 p.m. William Fleming vs. Western Albemarle (Boys)
5:00 p.m. Cave Spring vs. LCA (Boys)
6:45 p.m. Northside vs. Radford (Boys)
8:00 p.m. Patrick Henry vs. Lord Botetourt (Boys)
ADMISSION – EACH DAY
$10 10 years and older
$ 5 Ages 5 to 9
Free 5 and under
*VHSL passes will not be honored for either day of this charitable event.
Thank you for your support of the Adam Ward Classic and for striving to be #AdamLike in everything that you do to make a positive difference in the lives of others!