In 1991, the Brookwood High School basketball coaches and Tip-Off Club created the DEEP SOUTH CLASSIC Holiday Basketball Tournament. The original Deep South Classic was a three day, 16 team, boys and girls tournament held at Brookwood High School in Snellville, GA. The Deep South Classic is still held each year between Christmas and New Year and has grown to be one of the most successful in the country. The tournament is proud of the high level of competition with past participants of both boys and girls teams from across the country. The backbone of the successful tournament continues to be the outstanding volunteer support and excellent corporate and local business sponsorship the tournament has received.
In 1998 a major decision was made to increase the size of the tournament. South Gwinnett High School also located in Snellville became a co-host. This added a new dimension to the tournament with both schools located 20 miles east of Atlanta, in a community which is very supportive of youth athletic and academic activities. From 1998 until 2007 the tournament included 32 teams—16 boys’ and 16 girls’ teams.
Coaches representing local and national colleges and universities annually attend the Deep South Classic or obtain information about Deep South Classic top prospect each year which features many scholar athletes who receive full basketball scholarships. College Coaches are provided information on potential recruits at the tournament and can obtain access to “Top Prospects of the Deep South Classic”--a compilation of participating teams' top players for the year on the Deep South Classic website.
Each year the Deep South Classic recognizes a boys and girls team Most Valuable Player and also a boys and girls All Tournament Team. Also the Deep South Classic recognizes one senior boy and one senior girl participant each year as recipients of the Scholar Athlete Award.
The Deep South Classic has hosted at least one “State Champion” participant in each of the past eleven (11) tournaments and many others that advanced far into post season play. This has included a team that lost each of its three scheduled games in the Deep South Classic, yet went on to win their State Championship—and a team that lost it’s first game at the tournament-–which proved to be it’s only loss in what was otherwise a perfect season! All this is a testimony to the strength of the participating teams.
The Deep South Classic changed its format in 2008. Instead of a 32-team (16 boys and 16 girls teams) 4-day tournament held at two sites, the 2008 Deep South Classic hosted an all Georgia 16 team, three day tournament held only at Brookwood High School. Games were played simultaneously in the school’s two gyms. After a one year hiatus in 2013, the tournament returned in 2014 with a stellar lineup of 15 Georgia teams, as well as 1 out of state team – Foley HS (Foley, AL). Under the guidance of new tournament director Ron Gulley, the tournament looks to reclaim its spot as one of the top Holiday Tournaments in the Southeast. The 2015 field includes 2 out of state teams - Wade Hampton HS (Greenville, SC) and Spruce Creek HS (Port Orange, FL) along with 14 Georgia teams.