By Jeremy Stewart Sports Editor

History is something of which the annual Holiday Festival Basketball Tournament has plenty.

And with players and coaches from this year’s tournament on hand for the tournament’s tip-off luncheon Tuesday, a brushstroke of that history was presented by a panel of former coaches.

Andy Akin, Larry Bing, Hazel Hall and Dwight Henderson answered questions from moderator and veteran broadcaster Randy Davis about their memories of the long-running tournament during the weekly meeting of the Seven Hills Rotary Club at Coosa Country Club.

After winning the Holiday Festival title as a player with East Rome, Bing went on to be a part of five more championships as the coach for the Coosa Eagles. He said some of the venues where the tournament has been played are unique.

The tournament began as a boys-only event in old Memorial Gym on West Third Avenue next to Barron Stadium. It then moved to the gym at Georgia Highlands College, then Floyd Junior College, and is now played there and at The Cage Center at Berry College.

“Each of those three places added something to it and made it special,” Bing said, sitting a couple of feet from this year’s Gold Ball trophies. “Of course, nothing is like taking one of those Gold Balls home."