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      Sports tourism proving to be a slam dunk for North Myrtle Beach

      The United States Basketball Association Championship is taking place in North Myrtle Beach for the next two weeks. It's expected to bring 20,000 people and $5 million to the Grand Strand for the event, and it's already proving to be a win for both the city and the players.

      "We see all the time with people that have never been to NMB, they come here for a sporting event, you know, baseball, softball, basketball, and then they'll come back and vacation with us. Or when they get older, they remember coming here and they bring their family here," Matt Gibbons, Sports Tourism Director for North Myrtle Beach said.

      Gibbons said this basketball tournament is one of the biggest sports tournaments North Myrtle Beach hosts each year, and that overall, sporting events held in the city have grown enormously over the years.

      "They all want to come somewhere where they can draw teams, and what better place to draw teams than North Myrtle Beach with our location, our facilities, and our hospitality," Gibbons said.

      And with the city's new multi-million dollar North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex set to open in March, the sports tourism draw in North Myrtle Beach is expected to grow even more.

      "We've got a ton of interest from organizers and tons of directors reaching out to us, wanting to hold their events here. We're already well over what we thought we would be at this point for next year," Gibbons said.

      Click here to learn more about the city's new sports complex.