Dec. 15—The Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic Basketball Tournament, which first started in 1975, is set to return to the court this holiday season.
Charlie Daher and his family, owners of Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence, are the tournament sponsor again, and honored the area's participating student-athletes at DiBurro's in Haverhill on Sunday night.
Per the norm, a senior athlete from each of the participating schools was awarded a $1,000 scholarship at the annual event attended by over 300 high school athletes and their coaches.
The Daher Family helped save and revive this tournament nine years ago and have provided 144 participants with scholarships while sponsoring the popular tournament, keeping it going as one of this area's favorite past times during the holiday season.
Charlie Daher said the pleasure was all his and his family's when it came to supporting this boys and girls basketball event.
"We are happy to help out the tournament each year and hope that you enjoy this experience and remember it for years to come," said Daher at the banquet on Sunday.
"We congratulate all of the scholarship recipients and wish all of the athletes the best of luck this season and beyond."
While the tournament was not played last year during the pandemic, Commonwealth Motors and the Daher family still gave scholarships to a player from each participating team.
Tournament co-chair Rich Napolitano from Methuen, who share the duties with North Andover Youth Center director Rick Gorman, said, "We are thrilled to bring the Classic back again this year, despite the challenges of COVID-19. We expect that this year is as exciting as years past for the players as well our community.
"We are all indebted to the Daher Family and Commonwealth Motors who not only helped saved the tournament, but has added new life over most of the last decade.
The Boys Division will be hosted by Andover High and played on December 27, 28, and 30. The Girls Division will be held at Central Catholic on December 27, 29, and 30.
Participating Schools include girls and boys teams from Andover High School, Central Catholic, Methuen High School, North Andover High School, and Londonderry High School. Teams on the boys side from Lawrence, St. John's Prep, and Bishop Guertin as well as girls teams from Pentucket, Westford Academy and Bedford (N.H.) High School are also participating.