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SL24 Memorial Classic returns to Chase Fieldhouse to raise awareness of mental illness: Photo gallery

Members of the Locke family display the amount of money raised to fight mental illness during the final game of the fifth annual SL24 Memorial Classic. Dialog photo/Mike Lang

WILMINGTON — The SL24 Memorial Classic basketball showcase returned to the Chase Fieldhouse on Feb. 3-4, with seven high school games helping to raise money for the UnLocke the Light Foundation inspired by a late Saint Mark’s High School athlete. This year’s classic raised more than $500,000.

The foundation was established in 2018 after the suicide of Sean Locke, who played basketball at Saint Mark’s and the University of Delaware and went to Mount Aviat Academy in elementary school. The mission of the foundation is to raise awareness and to let people know that they do not have to fight this battle alone or in silence. UnLocke the Light provides education to high school and college students about the signs of depression, aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness, and makes resources available for those who seek help.

Sean’s House opened in October 2020 near the University of Delaware in the house where Locke lived while a student there. It offers a library, room to sit and talk, and a kitchen. Chris Locke, Sean’s father, said at this year’s SL24 Memorial Classic that the foundation now hopes to establish rooms with the same purpose at high schools around Delaware.

The foundation’s most prominent fundraiser is the SL24 Memorial Classic, which brings teams from all over Delaware to the fieldhouse. This year, Saint Mark’s boys and girls both won on Friday night. Ursuline defeated Padua on Saturday, while Archmere’s boys and Salesianum both fell.

Photos by Jason Winchell and Mike Lang.