FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — High school basketball fans from across South Carolina will be in the Pee Dee next year for the upper, lower and state high school basketball finals.

The games will all be held in the same location for the first time. The games will be held at the Florence Center.

The South Carolina High School League and the Florence Center held a press conference on Thursday about the economic impact of hosting games.

Last season, the lower state games were held at the Florence Center, the upper state games at Bob Jones University and the state finals at University of South Carolina Aiken.

The league said hosting the games in Florence will allow fans easy access to the interstate and local shopping opportunities. They also said it will benefit the players.

“Doing it like that, then everyone has the exact same experience as far as venues are,” said Jerome Singleton, South Carolina High School League commissioner. “Now, the outcome of the game could be different, but the experience is the exact same.”

The seven-day tournament will also benefit local businesses. The marketing director for Raldex Hospitality, Kirby Anderson, said he expects it to be one of their biggest events.

“This probably going to be one of the larger ones that we get to entertain,” Anderson said. “Yeah, it will sell us out.”

Florence County Administrator Kevin Yokim said the partnership with the Florence Center and South Carolina High School League adds to any already growing Florence economy.

“It’s a great time to be in Florence County,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on. Like I said earlier, there’s an old saying that says things come in threes. Well, first we had Buccees, then we had the battery plant and now we’ve got basketball.”

The South Carolina High School League semifinals will start on Feb. 23, with the finals set for March 1 and March 2.

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Aundrea Gibbons joined the News13 team in May 2023 after graduating from Clemson University with bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and communication. Aundrea is a Marion native and graduated as salutatorian in 2019. Follow Aundrea on Twitter and read more of her work here.