37th annual Beach Ball Classic kicks off today - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

37th annual Beach Ball Classic kicks off today

Mayor John Rhodes is the executive director of the tournament, and said this is probably the best lineup of teams this tournament has had in 20 years (Source: WMBF news). Mayor John Rhodes is the executive director of the tournament, and said this is probably the best lineup of teams this tournament has had in 20 years (Source: WMBF news).

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The 37th annual Beach Ball Classic kicks off today at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center featuring some of the best high school basketball teams in the country.

Mayor John Rhodes is the executive director of the tournament, and said this is probably the best lineup of teams this tournament has had in 20 years.

"We continue to bring in the great teams in high school basketball with the great players that have names so you can say, 'Hey, I knew Kobe Bryant when it was here. I knew Vince Carter when he was here. I knew Rasheed Wallace,’” said Rhodes.

According to Rhodes, eight of the top fifty teams in the country are playing in the tournament this year; three of those teams rank in the top 25.

The support officials get from businesses and community members has helped officials to continue hosting it in Myrtle Beach. Rhodes said this year the Beach Ball Classic is ranked the number one holiday high school tournament in the country.

The tournament is estimated to have a 1.5 to 2 million dollar impact annually, according to Rhodes. He said that number is usually estimated when you take a look at both tournaments overall, that being the CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational, which was last week, and this weeks Beach Ball Classic.

Part of that number can depend on how many fans are coming with the teams, and this year, officials are expecting a lot. While they’re here, there will always be something to do whether it’s playing in the tournament, going out to eat, or touring the area.

Rhodes said this tournament allows players to bond together and have a great time and experience, but also gives people the opportunity to see Myrtle Beach and what it has to offer both as a resort and a vacation spot for families.

“We are able to bring in the parents of these players, and a lot of them get the chance to see Myrtle Beach for the first time. They didn't realize what they had to offer for a vacation spot for families. So, we get very excited about being able to showcase that," said Rhodes.

Tip off is today between Cox Mill, North Carolina and Fairland, Ohio at 3:30 p.m. For a look at the full boys schedule, click here.

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