When you think of the Holiday Season you tend to think of faith, family and friends. There are some who would argue that highly competitive, high school basketball is also part of the tradition. If you’ve ever witnessed an event like the Neosho Holiday Classic then you know exactly what kind of tradition those people are talking about. Every December since 1954, high school basketball teams have gathered together in Southwest Missouri to go head-to-head in the Neosho Holiday Classic. Despite the popularity, support and long tradition of the tournament, its success began to dwindle in the 1990’s. That is when Branco Enterprises stepped in to become the official tournament sponsor in 1998. Branco realized that successful high school basketball tournaments are a communal effort, driven by business and community support. The tournament has grown by leaps and bounds and has become one of the premier tournaments in the nation. A girl’s division was added in 2001, and the tournament achieved the goal of fielding 16 boys teams and 16 girls teams in 2009 (the 2011 edition also fielded 32 total teams). Without the tremendous effort of area businesses, the Neosho High School ­­and countless volunteers, the Neosho Holiday Classic would not have grown to the magnitude we know it as today.