Economic Slam Dunk

A chorus of cheers erupts from the crowd with every basket made or pass picked off, as more than 100 teams from all over the Lone Star State are in the Nocona area this week, competing in the Continental Division of the Little Dribblers Basketball Tournament.

"It's a chance for kids who play in local leagues to come and compete against other strong programs and really show what they have," said Wes Pierce, who sits on the Nocona Little Dribblers Board of Directors.

Corey Womack is the coach of the Lovelady Major Boys All Stars.

He said he loves coming to Texoma, and his team loves being here.

"It's good for the kids, they have a blast," said Womack, "They get to spend a lot of time together, play hard. Play some basketball. It's good for them."

Good for them, and good for the area.

Officials estimated around 4 to 5 thousand people are in Nocona and St. Jo for the tournament.

Justin Hansard, another Board Member, said, "it's kind of a vacation for them."

Perhaps a vacation for those traveling to Texoma, but a time to cash in for local businesses.

"The economic impact we'll have for this one Little Dribblers Tournament," explained Hansard, "will exceed anywhere from $80,000 to $90,000 by the time you count all the hotels, and the businesses and everything else."

And just like a great point guard spreads the ball, the tournament also spreads the wealth.

Teams aren't just staying and spending money in Nocona, but in Wichita Falls, Gainesville, Decatur, and Bowie as well.

With numbers like that, local officials said they'll be happy to host the tournament in Nocona for years to come.

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