Hot off the Press - February/March 2017

February 2017
Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw

The Beach Ball Classic: Premier High School Hoops on the Grand Strand
Ian Guerin, Forward by Mayor John Rhodes
The History Press, 2016, $21.99

A detailed and trivia-laden read (with plenty of photos), one that any basketball fan will enjoy, The Beach Ball Classic recounts the history and extraordinary growth of what has been called “the best holiday tournament in America.” Freelance journalist Ian Guerin documents how that for some 35 years the best and brightest high school basketball players and teams from around the U.S. have made the pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach the week after Christmas with hopes of catching the eyes of visiting college and pro scouts.

The tournament, created by former NBA and Socastee High School coach Dan D’Antoni (who is currently head coach at Marshall University), has grown to a 16-team national competition and helped spawn and grow the sports tourism revolution along the Grand Strand. Guerin’s book covers not only the details of the tournament, but includes interviews with D’Antoni, Rhodes, local businesspeople, and countless college and NBA coaches and players.

The Beach Ball Classic will give even casual fans of the game a better understanding of the impact this tournament has had on Myrtle Beach and how it has helped shape college and pro hoops. NBA superstars Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Antawn Jamison, Jermaine O’Neal, Mike Bibby and many others all got their start as high school all-stars playing in Myrtle Beach. This is the story of the tournament that helped launch their careers and give Myrtle Beach its sports identity.

Georgetown County’s Historic Cemeteries
Sharon Freeman Corey
Arcadia Publishing, 2016, $21.99

The easy-to-spot sepia-toned covers of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America collection are perfectly suited to the latest title in the series, Georgetown County’s Historic Cemeteries.

In keeping with the publisher’s vision for the series, the book is loaded with black-and-white photos, more than 200 in its 126 pages. Compiled by Georgetown resident Sharon Freeman Corey, the book is divided into ten chapters, each focusing on a geographically specific Georgetown County cemetery (or cemeteries), many of which are pre-Revolutionary and serve as a vivid reminder of our colonial past.

Though there are plenty of tombstone photos, some of which are curiously and unfortunately unreadable, the book also features a collection of historical photos of people, places, businesses and churches, combined with excellent historical research on the families whose many descendants still call the area home.

For anyone who has ever perused, casually or otherwise, centuries-old cemeteries, this new release will strike a chord as it serves to remind us of our shared, rich history resting peacefully in the oldest community along the Grand Strand.