For years, the Lufkin Coca Cola Thanksgiving Classic has been a showcase for junior college basketball teams to display their talents to the holiday crowds.
This year, the Classic will have a little more motivation behind it.
Seven men’s teams will compete in 10 games over three days at Shands Gymnasium on the Angelina College campus, with the final matchup on Saturday featuring a true championship game. In the past, the Classic featured the round robin format; this time, there will be an actual winner.
The three-day tournament is something AC head men’s basketball coach Nick Wade said he’d dreamed of expanding to the benefit of area basketball fans.
“We’re trying to bring some of the best talent around the country here to Lufkin,” Wade said. “It’s going to be a great weekend for basketball fans who want to see some high-level games. We have a great Region V team here, a great Region XIV team coming, and it’s going to be jam-packed with action every day.
“We’ve always had the Thanksgiving tournament, but my vision was to make it the premier tournament at the holiday, and so far, it looks like we’re doing that. A lot of (upper level) coaches are going to be in attendance, and we hope the fans will be here with us as well.”
The tournament schedule is as follows:
Day 1 (Thursday, Nov. 28): Game 1: Howard College vs. Navarro College, 3 p.m.; Game 2: Southwestern Christian College vs. New Mexico Junior College, 5 p.m.; and Game 3: Louisiana Christian School vs. AC, 7 p.m.
Day 2 (Friday, Nov. 29): Game 4: Loser Game 2 vs. LCS, 12 p.m.; Game 5: Tomball College vs. Winner 2, 2 p.m.; Game 6: Loser 3 vs. Loser 4, 4 p.m.; Game 7: Winner 3 vs. Winner 4, 6 p.m.
Day 3 (Saturday, Nov. 30): Game 8: Winner 5 vs. Winner 6, 1 p.m.; Game 9: Loser 7 vs. Loser 8, 3 p.m.; Game 10: Winner 7 vs. Winner 8, 5 p.m.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.