King Cotton Classic Returning to Pine Bluff

PINE BLUFF, AR – Go Forward Pine Bluff (GFPB) announced Wednesday the December return of the King Cotton Holiday Classic, sponsored by Simmons Bank.
The event is a high school basketball tournament that placed Pine Bluff in the national spotlight in years past. GFPB CEO Ryan Watley made the announcement during a news conference at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
The tournament’s eight-team lineup, which includes nationally ranked teams and players, was also revealed.
Click here for more details about the event. Click here to purchase tickets. 
“We are incredibly proud to bring this famed event back to Pine Bluff and are eager to see the positive impact it will have on our city,” said Watley.
Simmons Bank, headquartered in Pine Bluff, is the title sponsor of the tournament.
“Simmons is committed to providing opportunities for our communities, especially for our hometown of Pine Bluff,” said Daniel Robinson, Simmons Bank Pine Bluff community president. “We are honored to be part of a tournament that gives young athletes a platform to pursue excellence and celebrate sportsmanship.”
The tournament will be held December 27-29 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.  Ahead of the event, the Convention Center will receive a new video scoreboard, along with renovated restrooms, dressing rooms and concession stands. Fresh paint and a new exterior marquee will also be part of the renovation.
The tournament’s reputation for star talent extends to its earliest days, when the tournament garnered national attention and a televised ESPN segment in the 1980’s.
2018 teams include:
Columbus High School – Columbus, Missouri
               2018 6A champion
               Ranked #1 in Missouri, #35 nationally
               Reached final four in the state last four years  
Houston Math, Science and Technology Center – Houston, Texas
              2018 6A semifinalist
              Ranked #16 in Texas, #91 nationally
              Two top 50 players for 2019 in the state
Landry Walker High School – New Orleans, Louisiana
               2018 6A runner-up
               Ranked #4 in Louisiana 
               Reached state finals last three years  
Gulliver Preparatory School – Pinecrest, Florida 
               Two players ranked in the top 75 National Class of 2020
               Players ranked #5 and #7 in Florida
The Park School of Buffalo – Snyder, New York
               2018 state champion
               Ranked #4 in New York, #102 nationally
               Top 10-ranked player in the state 
Polytechnic High School – Long Beach, California
               2018 conference champion, state quarterfinalist
               Named “Sports School of the Century” by Sports Illustrated in 2005
Mills University Studies High School – Sweet Home, Arkansas
               2017-18 5A state runner-up
               Ranked #4 in Arkansas, #104 nationally 
Jacksonville High School – Jacksonville, Arkansas
               2013 5A state champion        
Pine Bluff High School – Pine Bluff, Arkansas
               2015 6A state champion 
               Host team

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