It all started in 1981 as a dream of Socastee High School Coach Dan D’Antoni. The tournament consisted of 8 teams, 4 in state and 4 out of state, and it was the first event of this type ever held in the State of South Carolina. No one would have ever imagined the progression into a 16 team National tournament, lasting 39 years and becoming the Premier High School Holiday Tournament in the United States. Our success was in large part due to the support of our community, city, county and state. These are the people that have allowed the Beach Ball Classic Committee to bring in the finest high school teams from around the country every Christmas to compete for the coveted Championship Trophy while entertaining thousands of citizens from the Grand Strand Community and beyond.
Then in 1998, the Beach Ball Classic Committee committed to begin a girls tournament, the Beach Ball Classic Holiday Invitational. It also began as an 8 team invitational and has now advanced to a 56 team National tournament. During the Holiday Invitational, as an added feature, the Carolina’s Challenge women’s college game is held featuring the University of North Carolina and Coastal Carolina University vs other Divison 1 teams. Four days of action packed women and girls games, held the week prior to Christmas, gives the Grand Strand 10 outstanding days and nights of high school and college basketball.