Myrtle Beach Invitational returns to HTC Center after being canceled in 2020
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - College basketball fans in the Grand Strand are in store for a treat this weekend, as the Myrtle Beach Invitational returns to Coastal Carolina University.
After being canceled last year due to COVID-19, the tournament is back for the third year at CCU, along with fans traveling from all across the country.
This year’s tournaments and features teams including Oklahoma, Davidson, Utah State, New Mexico State, Indiana State, East Carolina, Old Dominion and Penn.
The tournament made its way to Myrtle Beach in 2017 after hurricanes forced the early season invitational to move from Puerto Rico. It’s since found a new home here in Conway through 2025.
Jonathan Paris, Sports Tourism Director for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Of Commerce, says the tournament is a huge economic booster for the Grand Strand and is excited to see the event return along with the traveling fan bases.
“I was surprised to see how many people from New Mexico State showed up and I’m expecting a lot of Oklahoma fans,” said Paris.
Gordon Bean and his wife Shawna made the trip from Utah to the Grand Strand to watch their son play for Utah State, something they did not get to do last season after the NCAA prohibited fans from attending games because of the pandemic.
“As excited as we are to travel and see our team play we’re excited for these players they went through a really difficult season without fans to cheer them on,” said Gordon.
From players, coaches, team staff and officials, Paris says the teams in the Myrtle Beach Invitational account for nearly 1,100 hotel rooms throughout the duration of the tournament.
As for the Bean family, it’s an opportunity to watch their son play basketball and a chance to enjoy a little family vacation.
“Cabin fever is a real thing and we’re happy to be with friends and to get out traveling, play golf and enjoy the beach,” Gordon said.
The tournament runs through Sunday, Tickets are still available and games are airing on the ESPN family of networks.
If you are planning to attend the game here at the HTC Center, make sure you have a clear bag and a mask as part of NCAA protocols.
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