NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC - For the seventh straight year, the United States Basketball Association National Championships have tipped off in North Myrtle Beach this summer. This week's events feature boys teams, from grades 8-12. The field features 142 teams, coming from 15 different states, and even representing three countries (United States, Canada, Dubai).
After the Alabama Theater played host to the opening ceremonies, which featured speakers like North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley and former Chicago Bull and current ESPN analyst Jay Williams, the games began. Teams will play four games of pool play from Tuesday-Thursday and then all will have a shot at winning a championship when bracket play begins Friday.
The USBA says it tries to set itself apart from other travel teams and tournaments, and hopes to do so by eliminating distractions outside of the game. As a former NCAA and NBA athlete, Williams agrees with that thought process.
"There is something that Magic Johnson told me my rookie year," Williams explained. "You come out in a game, and you try to do 8,000 things at 20,000 miles per hour. And he said 'Jay, less is more'. So, sometimes when you remove yourself from the distractions, it allows you to actually focus on the game and that's what I think the USBA is about."