"I've been coaching twenty-five years, 23 at St. Patrick's in New Jersey, and we've been in a lot of tournaments that were supposed to be the best tournament; City of Palms, Beach Ball, and McDonald's in Erie, Pennsylvania and without a doubt when you factor in everything this tournament is as good as any tournament...especially when you factor the community and the crowd in. It's amazing the knowledge of basketball for the people here, the support, the enthusiasm."
"Basketball has been very good to me. I've been all over the world. I've played in tournaments in Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, Italy. My kids always talk about Springfield, Missouri. Five out of my seven times here with St. Raymonds, we either played for or won a state and/or city championship. This is a great measure to see what you're going to do when you get back. Springfield, Missouri is the greatest place. People are so nice. Not matter how much you lose by, people come up to you, telling you how hard your kids played."
"It's been great for us. It's been great being in Missouri. It's just first class. We're real blessed with the opportunity to be here."
"It's been a wonderful experience. I think my kids have really enjoyed the experience here. I love the people here."
"Very special atmosphere. The city of Springfield embraces this tournament. Kentucky is a basketball crazy state and I'd say Missouri is now just as crazy. Usually traveling with coaches and players...especially flying...is a tremendous amount of work, this has been like a vacation."
"This tournament has given us the validation to why we work as hard as we work. This is the only time I've ever been in a basketball situation where you can have the possibility of going 0-3 and they are proud of the fact that you come out and play as hard as you can possibly play."
"This week has been very special for our
"Mark Fisher told us we'll play three big
"We go all over the place to play in tournaments.
We've had the opportunity to be to tournaments
"I can't get over the hospitality at this tournament. I can't get over the fans. The comradery among the coaches and players...it's very unique."
"One of the most well run tournaments we've ever been to. What I really like is the gym...Hammons Center has a great floor, a good background for shooters, and the crowd is so appreciative of basketball...they treat you really well."
"People here in Springfield are great and the fan support is unbelievable! All our kids felt a little special and enjoyed their time."
"It was one of the earlier tournaments that got in touch with me last year, and that allowed me a chance to talk about it with all the college guys who were coming through town recruiting Kyle Singler. They all spoke very, very highly of it."
"Everything was spectacular! We were treated like royalty. When we needed something, we got it. Once you get here, everybody loves basketball and you can feel that."
"This is as good as it gets. It exceeded our expectations. Hammons Student Center is a tremendous venue, the fans are great and the hospitality was tremendous."
"Wonderful tournament. First class operation. All of the players should be proud that they get an opportunity to play in this event. You have to act right, you have to be sure to demonstrate that not only can you play on the court, but you're going to represent your school and community in the right way. That's how you get invited to the best tournaments."
"It's been an awesome experience. Everything here has been done in a Southern hospitality kind of way. We've been to a lot of the top tier tournaments the last few years and I'd have to say this one ranks right up there as the top one just because of the experience. Great community, great field, and it's basketball at its purest form."
"This has been a great experience for our kids...to get out of southwest Houston and to come to a place like Springfield...it is really, really awesome. Wonderful tournament...get to play great basketball."
"It was amazing. Nicest people, fans I've ever been around. One of my players (a senior) told me "You gotta bring another group here...this is first class". He's telling the truth."
"We're fortunate as a team to be here. We're very fortunate as a school to be here. We're fortunate to play at a high school basketball tournament on this stage for our team. We've had a great time here. There's some amazing coaches, amazing talent, and some amazing teams."
Commenting on being a player for Christ the King in 1994: "We played (Springfield) Glendale in the finals
"I've heard people talk about Myrtle Beach and on this internet thing that's number two and the Tournament of Champions is seventh, but I'm telling you this is number one! It's unbelievable. Hospitality's been great. Everybody's nice...everywhere we go they're extremely nice. We were here watching MSU play Southern Illinois and we were told the T Of C would have the same crowd, and I thought "yeah, right," but to walk into the arena and see as many people supporting this tournament is just unbelievable."
“I'm about lifetime experiences. To me high school basketball is about memories, and our kids got to play in one of the top-notch high school tournaments in the country. It's like you're on a stage with a spotlight. It's got a real big-time feel to it.”
"First class tournament...Great Atmosphere!"
"It's a great reward for the kids. Seeing all the nice hospitality, it'll be tough to get them off the plane and bring them back down to reality. The atmosphere is equivalent to our state tournament in Wisconsin. Truly a good experience!"
"Every team that comes in here to the
"To be on the front page of the newspaper, not just the sports section, but the whole newspaper, have all the radio coverage, and 7,000+ people at a high school game... the kids couldn't believe it, and to be honest, the coaches couldn't as well."
"This event lived up to everything we had heard about it being such a big time, first-class national tournament and it is every bit that."
"We've been to tournaments elsewhere and this one, by far, it's the best. The organization, the facilities, the activities, and the place... great place to play. The kids are excited with the atmosphere and having that type of crowd every night. It's been a great experience...win or lose."
"First-class! One of the best we've been to. Its been great."
"It's overwhelming and an honor for us to get to play in this. Springfield Public Schools and Bass Pro Shops putting this on is just unbelievable."
"It was a great atmosphere. We had 8,000 people at every game, and everywhere we went, people we re talking about basketball. It was a great experience for us."