Category: Basketball Published Date Written by Sakina Odoms Hits: 1118
Blue Devil Basketball Head Coach Dr. Eric Holland is finally going to have one of his big basketball dreams come true with the first annual McDonald's Invitational Classic that will be held in Tift County High School’s gymnasium December 28-30.
Holland said he is really looking forward to this year’s tournament. He said, “For the last 6 years, I have wanted to put on a big-time basketball tournament in South Georgia, and this year I can thanks to Wendell Morgan and McDonalds.”
Morgan owns several of the McDonalds’ franchises in the South Georgia area.
Holland said, “I talked to Mr. Morgan about the idea of the tournament, and about 10 minutes later, he made this 6 year dream come true.”
Holland said that he contacted several local teams as well as teams from the Atlanta area and had a great response. He said several teams were excited about taking advantage of the tournament opportunity that the McDonalds’ sponsorship is providing. “They are paying for the teams’ travel, hotel costs and meals,” said Holland. He added that the Fairfield Inn is the host hotel for the event.
“We are really appreciative of McDonalds’ support,” said Holland. “This is going to be a 1st class tournament thanks to a classic man like Mr. Morgan.”
Lady Devils Head Coach Julie Conner said that she is also looking forward to this event. She said, “We are really excited about the tournament!”
Coach Conner said, “There are going to be a lot of great teams lined up.” She added, “We are expecting a full house each night. The McDonalds’ Tournament promises to be an exciting one for all basketball fans!”
“We thank the Morgan family and McDonalds for all their contributions,” said Conner. She added, “This tournament would not be possible without their help and support. We really appreciate what they are doing to help make this tournament a success.”
The tournament will consist of 16 teams: 10 boys and 6 girls teams. Several teams from South Georgia will be competing: Tift, Terrell, Turner, Cook, Bainbridge, Crisp, Lowndes, Wilcox and Thomas County Central. Baldwin High School in Milledgeville and other teams such as Collin Hills, Whitefield, Buford and Central Gwinnett are traveling from the Atlanta area to be a part of the tournament.
Tournament play will begin each day at 10:00 a.m. and will continue throughout the day. TCHS teams will be rounding out play each night with the Lady Devils playing at 7:00 p.m. and the Blue Devils playing at 8:30 p.m.
“Talk about having a full day of basketball!” said Conner. “This tournament is going to be great.”
Tickets for the tournament are $10 per day. Once spectators pay for their ticket, they will have admission for the entire day’s events.
Coach Holland and Coach Conner encourage everyone to come out after the Christmas holidays for a little basketball action. And while the concession stand will be open each day of tournament play, Coach Holland added with a smile, “Everyone needs to make sure they go eat at McDonalds!”