HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A youth basketball tournament wrapping up has brought in thousands of players and their families to the Grand Strand.
Almost 20,000 people have turned out for this year's Big Shots Basketball Tournament. It's said to be the nations premier exposure event and its turning out to be a reliable source of revenue for area businesses.
Big Shots CEO said the estimated economic impact from the long tournament reaches millions of dollars.
That's because Big Shots attracts more than 350 teams from around the country with players hoping to get recruited by the team they've always dreamed to be apart.
Jeff Schneider, CEO and President of Big Shots said, "This is something that we push and we have all these smaller events throughout the country, we push everyone to come to myrtle beach and we really feel that myrtle beach is going to become the nations top sports destination for youth athletics."
This year there is roughly 5,000 players, 7,500 parents, 3,000 graduate coaches and 1,000 college coaches.
Players come from around the country, hoping to earn a full ride to some of the best athletic colleges.
"All the state schools are here, so it's just great to see these kids have an opportunity to show case themselves and have an opportunity for scholarships at that level," Schneider said.
In fact in the near decade that big shots has been around, over 80 players have made it to professional teams.
"When I was younger I used to play and it wasn't that big, but now it's like huge and it's like the best league to play in now and it's just amazing playing in it," said Player Jackson Hurston.
Next year big shots is moving to the Myrtle Beach Sports Center being built behind the Myrtle Beach Convention center.
The multi-million dollar North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex has a number of events underway and soon the City of Myrtle Beach will have a three court sand volleyball area – hopefully attracting more events like the salt games and NCAA tournaments.
This tournament is a long standing event that is continuing to grow especially with help from our city leaders focusing on bringing other sports related events into the city.