The 2013 Boys State Basketball Tournament marks a major milestone for the event and organizers are planning a big celebration. This year the tournament hits the century mark.

Gary Ray, the executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, announced Thursday special events will take place during this year’s tournament which gets underway March 13th at the Charleston Civic Center.

On tap for the week of the boy’s tournament is a banquet celebrating 100 years of basketball in the Mountain State. There will be tables of memorabilia from years past set up outside the arena. And the WVSSAC is putting together a coffee table book filled with pictures and memories from players that many people will remember.

Ray says the tournament has produced some of the biggest names in basketball.

“They all have played an important role…Willie Akers, Jerry West, Mike D’Antoni and those individuals. And I know we’ll have many more to come,” Ray said.

Ray stresses they’ll be celebrating the past and the present.

“This tournament this year will be special for the 24 teams who are coming [to play]. And we’re going to celebrate those who have come before,” he explained.

The very first tournament game was played in 1914 in Buckhannon. Elkins battled Wheeling. The winner were the boys from Randolph County.

Ray says from that very first game the tournament has been a special time for the young men who hit the court with the hopes of winning a state title.

“You talk to people who have been here before and they talk about how special that event was,” according to Ray. “It’s just all the hard work that goes into it from the Civic Center to the City of Charleston, the workers, the tournament director, the school athletic directors and the principals. It takes everyone to make it a special event.”

To learn more about all the events going on during tournament week, log on to www.wvssac.org and click on the 100 Years of Basketball icon.

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