Battle of the South in action at Darton

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

ALBANY -- Teams from around the South -- 22 of them -- convened at Darton College's Cavalier Arena and Lockett Station Saturday to take part in 14th annual King of the South basketball tournament.

Previous tournament winners, like Team Girard -- out of Alabama -- and Team Duvall -- from Jacksonville, Fla. -- were on hand to showcase their talents for the crowd to see.

With a number of long, contested three-point bombs and an array of high-flying antics, the teams that participated in the event did more than their share to bring the crowd to life.

The tournament, which concludes today, was organized by Fred Pickett and A.B. King.

Pickett also brought the talents of Team AND1 to Albany State University Friday.

King was the first to start the King of the South tournament in 1996 when it was known as the "Sports Zone" tournament.

The initial tournament consisted of nine teams.

"We have teams from almost every county in the state of Georgia," said King. "Basketball is a way of life for a lot of guys that played either high school or college and they just want to get a game up right now, and this is the only level that they can play in."

The adult recreation tournament is open to high school seniors and up.

Some of the players in participation play semi-pro basketball and some play basketball overseas, while others just play to play. These types of tournament go on year-round and most of the teams in contention play year-round as well.

In previous years, Albany State University was a hotbed area for the tournament, but that's not the case this year, as the tournament was cut from 30 to 22 teams.

"We had to turn some teams (down) because we had a problem trying to find gyms that will host everybody," said King.