Beach Ball Classic tips off for 42nd year in Myrtle Beach
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - High school basketball is taking center stage this week on the Grand Strand for the return of a big tradition.
The 42nd annual Beach Ball Classic tipped off Tuesday and runs through Friday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, with teams from across the country competing in the big showcase.
“The Beach Ball Classic has been part of the Myrtle Beach community for a long time and it’s great to see it continue and to be a part of the tradition as we like to say,” said Chad Smith, the tournament’s president.
Since its founding in 1981, the event has become a launching pad for several high school standouts who went on to stardom in the NBA. That list includes the late Kobe Bryant, who appeared in the 1995 tournament prior to being drafted the following summer.
Other notable players who have played in the tournament over the year include Grant Hill, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Baron Davis, Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Rasheed Wallace.
16 teams across the two brackets make up the field for this year’s event, including a few local squads in Myrtle Beach, Socastee and St. James.
Besides having some of the nation’s top players here in the Grand Strand, organizers said there’s one new element that will be introduced for the first time ever to high school basketball in the state.
“We’re really excited this year because we’re introducing the 35-second shot clock which is new to high school basketball in the state of South Carolina,” said Smith. “So that should add a whole new element of planning and strategy for this year’s games.”
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