Tift County to Stay at 'Home of Basketball'

Bright lights, the big stage and even bigger dunks- this is the life for the state's top high school basketball team, the Tift County Blue Devils.

Next week, the Blue Devil band of top prospects is getting a history lesson in Springfield, MA at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

"We're trying to give our kids the opportunity to learn about the game of basketball and what better way to show them than at the Basketball Hall of Fame," Tift County head coach Eric Holland said.

Playing on the national stage, Tift County travels to the home of James Naismith and basketball Sunday to play in the Hoops Hall Classic.

The Blue Devils opponent? The sixth ranked team in the nation, according to Max Preps, New Jersey's St. Anthony's.

"We're playing St. Anthony's and they have the best high school coach in America in Bob Hurley. Just to go there and see the Hall of Fameâ|I think it's going to be a blessing," Kansas signee and Georgia's top player, Brannen Greene said

No strangers to attention, the 12-2 Blue Devils welcome a challenge in the state or out. This group, mature past its years, believes every game builds to championship success.

"It just gives us adversity that we have to overcome and even if we come up with the loss. Just getting out in to a different climate, just everything helps us as a team," Greene said.

"It's really not about basketball. It's about the Hall of Fame. Go out and try to play together. Have fun, bond together as a family and leave as one," Blue Devils point guard Tadric Jackson said.

There's plenty of time for bonding this week. Tift County plays two road region games Friday and Saturday before flying to Massachusetts Sunday. Extreme conditions- no problem for this team. It's all part of Coach Holland's plan.

"We've been through it all, but that's the purpose of the regular season to make sure there are no surprisesâ|the ultimate goal is to win it," Holland said.