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Holiday Basketball Tournaments

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

Some high school students are working hard this Christmas break, but it’s not in the classroom. Both Dothan and Ozark are holding a basketball tournament to raise money for area schools.

Area schools are competing for early bragging rights while two cities are competing to be the top holiday tournament in the Wiregrass.

This is the first year Ozark is home to the holiday prep classic, hosting the larger schools from Houston, Dale and Coffee Counties.

"We're doing it because we're bringing a lot of people to Ozark at a very important time, Christmas time. It's an opportunity for us to show off our city, an opportunity to show off our civic center and it's just an absolutely great venue," said Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting.

Dothan is also hosting a first for their tournament. This is the first time the city has sponsored the Dothan hoops classic.

"We felt like we needed to hold the tournament down here in downtown Dothan. We're trying to build up downtown Dothan and this is just one of the ways we're trying to get people down here," said Director of the Dothan Hoops Classic, Jonny Oppert.

For years Dothan has been the only tournament in the area. However, Ozark is carrying the lead in the number of teams playing the tournament.

Even though neither city benefits directly from the tournament, both cities are competing to draw the bigger crowds.

"We want it to grow. Of course, we started with eight teams this year. We want to get 16 teams next year, and we hope to get some more of the local teams in," said Oppert.

"I think the bottom line to all of it is to have greater attendance. Now, whether we'll achieve greater attendance, we're still waiting to see," said Bunting.

No matter how either tournament goes, officials for both cities say they just want to generate as much money as possible for the schools, so everyone scores

Ozark mayor bunting say even though the cities are trying to have the largest tournament, there are no quarrels between city leaders.

The tournaments wrap up at the end of this week


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