NAIA Basketball Tournament, Branson, Missouri
As mentioned before, the three main sports and Branson youth activities are Basketball, baseball and volleyball. The main sport, however, is basketball–especially, lately, NAIA Basketball. It is the most popular and brings the most visitors to Branson during the off season, which is between September and March. During the fall season The MCAC (Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference) competition for College basketball males and females occur at the college of the Ozarks. This brings in from 300-500 people into Branson with a need for accommodations and entertainment. What Branson should really call the off season is sports season as most guests that are in town are somehow connected to sports.
But the biggest time in Branson’s sports season is a one week long competition known as the (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) NAIA basketball tournament which is held in March at the College of the Ozarks. This is one week when anyone who is anyone in basketball comes into Branson. Rooms are filled everywhere, restaurants over flowing with customers, shows sold out and the whole nine yards. We have teams, officials, volunteers, coaches, media personnel, fans and family all in Branson. If there was a time that every hotel was full, it would be this week. This tournament brings so much business to Branson that most businesses in the area have started to sponsor teams. This is a community tight tournament and it does help out the community of Branson.
Throughout the dates of March 9 – 15, 2011, the NAIA Basketball Division II Men’s Tournament was hosted at College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, MO. This has been the venue for this event for the past five years. With around 33 colleges and universities coming together for an intense six day competition where every game counts, you can’t lose. But what is fascinating about this tournament is not that it is a fun filled adrenaline pumping event but that there are extraordinary young men on the court who uphold the integrity and purity of collegiate athletics.
-Roxie Goffe (Return to see more Branson Youth Activities)