Battle of the South tournament returns for 26th year
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The game of basketball is something that the city of Albany takes pride in.
So many historic basketball players from Monroe, Dougherty, Westover, and even the late great Albany High.
Over the weekend, an event that’s been going on for the past 26 years brought back some legends to the Good Life City.
“I don’t get that play at home that much anymore. My mom, my brother, they don’t get to watch me play in person. So coming home is always a big thing for me to play. Just for me to come back and play for the fans as well. I got a lot of supporters like my assistant coaches here from high school so it’s a very big deal for me,” said Albany High alum and current overseas basketball player, Tyler Cheese.
The Battle of the South tournament is an event filled with talent from Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. There was even a team from Philly in the building.
Some of the players played in the NBA, G League, and Division I basketball, and had some current high school basketball players on the court.
Battle of the South Director Frank Pickett talked about how this idea turned into a phenomenon for the city.
“It was nothing in the community to do so we decided, me and some of the coaches was just sitting around and we decided to put this thing together 26 years ago we started with nine teams, But like I said we cut it at 20 because we had it because we have had 30 some teams but it just brings a lot of revenue to the city,” said Pickett.
An Albany legend from Albany High as well, Alfonso Smith or better known as “Al”, has seen events grow from the ground up. He wants people to realize a thing or two about the game of basketball.
“This is not an easy job, if you got to play in college or whatever you got this not easy. It’s more than putting a basketball in the basket. There’s plays, they got an attitude, they’re egos. You may have to play with a guy you don’t like at all but you got to play for the common goal and that’s to win” said Smith.
South Georgia’s team the Great Techniques fell short in the battle of the south championship to Atlanta’s team, Prevail.
But overall it was a weekend where the city could enjoy some hoops in the Good Life City.
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