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McNeese embracing addition of LHSAA state tournaments to Burton

Last Modified: Thursday, June 06, 2013 11:10 PM

By Alex Hickey / American Press

McNeese State is embracing the addition of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association boys and girls basketball state tournaments to Burton Coliseum.

Unlike the rodeo, which requires removal of the basketball court, the state tourneys will not force McNeese to hit the road during the last two weekends of the regular season.

“There’s a lot of logistics to still work out, but every party is willing to cooperate,” said McNeese Athletic Director Tommy McClelland in reference to the school, LHSAA and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

Southeastern Louisiana has successfully juggled hosting women’s and men’s home games with the high school tournament sandwiched in between in past years.

“I loved playing at Southeastern when it was there,” said McNeese women’s coach Brooks Donald Williams. “You’ve got teams competing for championships, and that’s such an exciting environment. It just creates a fun culture. I’m excited it’s here.”

Donald Williams said becoming the state’s basketball destination will only make the sport stronger in the area.

“We certainly want to welcome more basketball to our venue. Whether we’re playing or not, I think our community welcomes as much basketball as we can get,” she said. “I think it’s a huge positive. We’ll have to work it all out (logistically). Obviously we’re in the thick of the hunt at that point in our season. We’ll have to make some adjustments, but we’re doing to do that to create some excitement about basketball in our area.”

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