Hundreds of Basketball Players Coming to Bay County

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PANAMA CITY-- "Gulf Beach Challenge" will be a showcase of talent for college recruiters.

Panama City officials say the event will provide a major economic boost to the community.

Organizers are expecting dozens of the Southeast’s best high school basketball teams for the "gulf beach challenge"

"We have teams coming from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi," said Cory Rollins, Tournament Director.

More than 70 college coaches will join the 60-or so teams at the NCAA certified event.

Teams will play games at the gulf coast state college and Rutherford high school gymnasiums.

"It will give us some good opportunities to recruit men that potentially in the future will be on the team. There will be a few guys that are playing that already heard about that we think that will be very interested in and it will give us an opportunity to see those men and play some basketball," said Jay Powell, Gulf Coast State College's Men's Basketball Coach.

Panama City officials hope the July 23rd to 27th event will be expose our area to a new market.

"I'm pretty excited about the basketball. We've never had anything like that before and to have that much talent coming here, and that many people, I mean it's good exposure for the city," said Greg Brudnicki, Panama City Mayor.

Tournament director Cory Rollins made the big announcement at the Panama City commission meeting Tuesday morning.

Officials say this is great for the community.

"It's going to bring a lot of people to the city and that means a lot of rooms being rented," said Brudnicki.

"Panama City is the ideal location for an event like this because you can attract teams from all over the southern region," said Rollins.

Rollins says he and his staff put together the event during the last three months.

If it's successful, they want to make it an annual event.