Panama City Beach, FL --- Tis the season to get buckets.
While we still have 364 more days to go until next Christmas, high school basketball teams all over the area are celebrating this joyous time of year with holiday hoops tournaments.
One of the prominent tourneys starting in our area is the 9th annual Marlin Christmas Classic over at Arnold.
As preparations finished up at the gym earlier Thursday, I spoke with Marlins head coach Robert Britton, as he discussed how this event not only means so much to the school ad the community, but to his youthful team, too.
"It's really great for our program and it's really great for this beach community," says Britton. "We teams from all over the country coming from Tennesse, Kentucky, Texas this year, Georgia, all over the country to come into our community, spend some time, and show us different skill levels and different styles of play. It's just excellent to see my kids face different types of talent from different parts of the country as they're gonna get ready to pursue their basketball careers on to seniors and maybe beyond."
Entering play tomorrow, Coach Robert Britton's Marlins hold a 4-6 record on the season. A young squad with only two seniors on the team, coach knows that the Classic will serve as a great chance for his guys to improve and gain some all important experience.
"I just hope they learn grittiness. I think we play well at the house and, of course, we're at home. But at the same time, I think it's gonna take the chance for them to learn how to grind things out. As them being a young team, they have some downfalls throughout games. I think this type of tournament from these type of teams will give us the opportunity to learn how to be gritty, to hang on, and to be disciplined. It's just gonna make us better and better and it'll be a great growing experience for my Marlins."
The Marlins play their first game Friday night at 6:30, when they face off against the North Greene Huskies out of Tennessee. They play the Walton Raiders out of Georgia the same time on Saturday.