Bulletin Staff Report

At a time of the year when after-Christmas shopping represents the primary attraction for area residents, the timing of the Underwood’s Christmas Classic basketball tournament provides basketball fans with a welcome diversion.

The tournament, featuring 25 games and 13 teams, will be held today and Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum and at Warren Gym at Brownwood High School.

But the tournament is also a boost for the local economy, according to Emily Crawford, tourism director of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

“There will be 13 teams playing in the tournament this weekend,

some will be traveling as far as Leander and Wichita Falls,” Crawford said. “Although not all of the teams will be spending the night, they will all be eating in our local restaurants, as will the parents and fans who come for the games.

“Brownwood's central location, sports facilities and variety of hotels and restaurants makes us an ideal location for sporting events,” Crawford added. “The Underwood’s Christmas Classic is a great way to show off the improvements that the City of Brownwood and Howard Payne have made to the coliseum.”

Other high school teams participating in the tournament are host Brownwood, Granbury, Killeen Shoemaker, Arlington Sam Houston, Early, Bangs, Goldthwaite, Sweetwater, Brady and Dublin.

The Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets will play at 3 p.m. today at the coliseum, and the HPU Lady Jackets will play at the same hour on Saturday.

The Lady Jackets are ranked NO. 2 in the nation in NCAA Division III women’s basketball.