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Beach Ball Classic Brings Big-Time Hoops to Grand Strand

Beach Ball Classic Brings Big-Time Hoops to Grand Strand

Millions of Myrtle Beach visitors get to play with a beach ball on the hot summer sand, but a lucky few get to watch the Beach Ball during the winter. That's the Beach Ball Classic, the nation's premier holiday high school hoops tournament, which will be held Dec. 26-31 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and features some of the top teams and talent in the country.

Guests at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort can enjoy a holiday retreat to the beach while also catching one of the top basketball tournaments in the nation. Entering its 36th year of hosting top-ranked teams and blue-chip players, the Beach Ball Classic provides a perfect getaway for celebrating Christmas as well as hoops in a hot bed for fans who love watching some roundball.

In addition to the Beach Ball Classic being held the week after Christmas, one of the top girls’ basketball tournaments takes place in the same venue the week before the holiday. The Dec. 17-22 CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational tips off the fiesta of high school hoops, turning the Grand Strand into ground zero for high school basketball players, teams, fans and coaches during the holidays.

While non-hoops fans have plenty to keep them entertained during the Christmas break, including concerts, shows, parades and shopping, the visitors who enjoy basketball and want to see the stars of tomorrow today can enjoy an all-you-can-watch basketball buffet at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Games run from morning through late night all six days of each of the two tourneys, and Lambo Arena hosts halftime and between-game entertainment, food, souvenirs, raffles and a whole lot more.

The Beach Ball Classic tips off Dec. 26 with one of the strongest fields in tournament history, including several teams ranked in the Top 25 of the USA Today rankings. Local teams Myrtle Beach and Socastee welcome teams from all over the country, including Evanston Township (IL), Pace Academy (GA), Westchester (CA), Bishop O'Connell (VA), Dillard (FL), Providence (FL), Westlake (GA), Jonesboro (GA), Bishop Gorman (NV), Christ the King (NY), Imhotep Charter (PA), McQuaid Jesuit (NY), Scott County (KY), and Canadian power Father Henry Carr. The championship games are set for New Year's Eve.

In addition to featuring several teams ranked in the national Top 25 polls, the Beach Ball Classic also draws top-notch talent that will be stars in the college and the NBA ranks someday. Past players include Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and a long list of other NBA All-Stars. This year's lineup features six seniors ranked in Rivals’ top 100 list — No. 5-ranked Pace Academy center Wendall Carter, No. 27-rated Jonesboro standout M.J. Walker, No. 50 Bishop Gorman star Charles O’Bannon, No. 55 Westlake forward Chuma Okeke and No. 75 Evanston Township guard Nojel Eastern. Westlake also has a highly ranked junior in No. 50 Jamie Lewis. Socastee’s 7-foot-1 center Jason Cudd recently committed to play at the University of South Carolina.

This year's CresCom Bank Holiday Invitational features South Carolina powers Myrtle Beach, Socastee, Dreher and Orangeburg-Wilkerson hosting South Shore (NY), Prairie View (CO), Hillside (NC), Monacan (VA), Winder-Barrow (GA), Lake Highland Prep (FL), Wesleyan (GA), Ferguson (FL), Norcross (GA), Carmel Christian (NC), Harris County (GA) and Franklin County (KY). The tournament bracket gets underway Dec. 17, with the championship and consolation games scheduled for the Dec. 22 finale.

Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is the perfect place for hoops fans to stay and play. Take the short drive to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to see some games, then return to Compass Cove to splash around on our indoor pool deck or relax in the hot tub for a best-of-both-worlds experience. Single-day tickets for the tournaments are available at the box office, and tournament ticket packages are available by visiting www.beachballclassic.com.

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