DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The schedule is now public for one of the Miami’s Valley’s largest basketball tournaments. Every year, the Flyin’ to the Hoop tournament pumps millions into the local economy.
It’s one of the largest high school basketball tournaments in the country–giving players in the Miami Valley a change to showcase their talents in front of college coaches–while the local economy cashes in on the thousands of people coming to the area.
And new this year, girls basketballs team will be able to get the same exposure as the boys.
“I’ve watched women’s basketball grow tremendously from the time,” Alter Girls Basketball Coach Chris Hart said. “That I played till now and our players don’t understand the opportunities that they have that we never had and never dreamt of.”
Chris Hart’s team will join 37 others from across the nation competing.
And more than 20,000 basketball fans will be there–some have been attending the tournament for the last 14 years. It’s an event that takes thousands of hours of planning to put together.
“We started right afterwards last year,” Eric Horstman said. “Then we start aligning the schedule late Summer and then unveiling it today in October.”
Before the schedule was released Tuesday, reserved seats already sold out in less than 48 hours. Many of the people heading to the tournament are coming from all over the nation.
Coming with them is roughly $1.9 millions dollars that will be spent at local businesses in and around the Miami Valley.
“I’m very blessed,” Horstman said. “I feel very fortunate that it has grown like this. It has turned into a monster in a good way. You wonder how you can do it to accommodate more people in the following year.”
When Horstman started the tournament 15 years ago, he never expected it to grow to what it is today.
“When you have 100 teams who want in and you can only put 40 that means 60 are kind of disappointment,” Eric Horstman said. “Every year that number seems to grow a little bit, but I think that’s just a testement, to the area, to the fans, to the sponsors and to the volunteers.”