GPB ramping up basketball coverage

Ty Freeman

With the 2013 GHSA basketball championships now here, readers may notice several differences from one year ago. For starters, 15 championship games will take place instead of the 11 from last year, as seven boys and seven girls titles plus the team wheelchair basketball championship will be handed out over the next three days. All of the games will also take place in Macon as the GHSA moved all of the title tilts to the Heart of Georgia after years of splitting up the finals between the Macon Coliseum and the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is Georgia Public Broadcasting’s incredible live coverage of the basketball championships. Georgia Public Broadcasting will be live for more than 36 hours over the next three days, bringing every basket, bounce and squeak to your television or computer.

GPB Sports Director Mark Harmon will host the action along with Kat Carney and Claire Simms, setting up the countless storylines and prepping you for what could be the best collection of announcers GPB has ever put together to broadcast the basketball championships. Legends such as Gil Tyree, Tommy Palmer, Herb White, Bob Houghton and Jon Nelson will be joined by fresh voices including UGA legends Shaun Golden and D.J. Shockley.

“We’ve got some great people lined up to call the games,” said Harmon. “It will be 36 hours of television and we are looking forward to it.”

GPB President and Executive Director Teya Ryan noted that GPB’s coverage will highlight not just the basketball action, but the communities that support the teams involved.

“That is part of our mission as public broadcasting, that we support the whole community,” said Ryan. “Our coverage should show GPB’s commitment to high school sports. We fully support as many high school sports as possible, and we’re about to see some of the best basketball in the state.”



The GPB staff has been in Macon since Wednesday, preparing the Macon Coliseum for the three-day spectacle and steeling themselves for the continuous live coverage. Georgia Public Broadcasting will stay on the air straight through from before the first games at 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 11 a.m. on Saturday, through the final games of each night. Harmon, Carney and Simms will be busy in between each game and during halftime of each of the games.

Harmon promised the return of the “Tailgate Parties” first made popular during GPB’s fantastic Football Fridays in Georgia broadcasts. The popular segments interviewed principals, parents, athletic directors and other special guests each Friday night during the football season, and GPB Sports is bring the Tailgate Party inside the Macon Coliseum. In addition to the normal fare, Harmon has promised a few special guests including the GM/head coach of the Atlanta Dream Fred Williams as well as Miller Bargeron and Larry “Gator” Rivers, a pair of filmmakers that have taken on a documentary project about the 1967 Beach High School team that won the GHSA’s first integrated state tournament at Georgia Tech. Rivers was a member of that team before going on to fame with the Harlem Globetrotters.

“We’ll also preview the 2013 Corky Kell Classic and Georgia Traveler and Georgia Outdoors,” said Harmon.

The Tailgate Party will also include exciting features such as a tour of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, located in Macon, and a look at The Big House, aka the Allman Brothers Band Museum.

With so much happening in and around Macon over the next few days, the GPB Sports crew is sure to be busy; however, you can bet that the all of the intense action and amazing storylines will be covered unlike ever before.

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