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Tradition Continues With The 63rd Annual Neosho Holiday Classic - KOAM TV 7

Tradition Continues With The 63rd Annual Neosho Holiday Classic

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It's been a Neosho tradition since the school's gym opened back in 1955.  The tournament started with 13 teams and more than 6,000 fans watching.

"You know, really, it's just an event that's a tradition, and people expect to come to the holiday tournament after Christmas, see good basketball, spend time with family," says Neosho boys' head coach Tony Branscum.

Tournament underwriter, Branco Enterprises, works hard every year to bring in nationally ranked teams, and players that move on to play division one, and even pro basketball -- such as Oklahoma Sooners standout and now Sacramento Kings star shooting guard, Buddy Hield.

"Being able to have our kids actually have that opportunity, and some of these high school kids, to play against future NBA-ers -- I mean you can't really put a value on that.  It's a pretty amazing feat," says Branco Enterprises President Justin Branham.

But aside from the action on the hardwood its the hospitality of Neosho that makes this tournament so special.

"We want to know about them their stories, hear where they are from, hear what they find important.   And just truly get to know a lot of these kids because a lot of these kids have fantastic stories,"  adds Branham.

Not only does this event have 24 teams going head to head for 4 days to crown a boys and girls champion -- the biggest draw to the tourney is the slam dunk contest.

"The gym is packed for that, and that's very exciting.  And has produced some really great moments,"  says Branscum.

"And the skill, I mean, what these guys can do with a ball in their hands is absolutely amazing,"  says Branham.

For everyone involved in the tournament the holiday break is not complete without a little basketball. 

"I've been in this for 19 years and I don't think I've done a -- or had a Christmas without a holiday tournament.  It's something that definitely goes together,"  says Neosho girls' head coach Grant Berendt.

The Neosho Holiday Classic kicks off on Wednesday, Dec. 27th, with the boys' bracket.  First games starting at 2 o'clock.

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