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|AAU action starts Friday|
The American Amateur Union 9-and-under National Basketball Championships are coming to Monroe this weekend.
The University of Louisiana-Monroe will host the event beginning Friday morning. Fant-Ewing Coliseum and the ULM Intramural Activity Center will be the site for the nationally-recognized tournament.
Twenty-five teams will compete in the week-long tournament.
Each team has won a either a Super Regional championship or district championship tournament to earn a spot in the Monroe tournament.
Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Maryland, and Tennessee will be represented in the tournament among others who are scheduled to compete for the national crown.
The local favorites begin Friday morning pool play as the Monroe Lady Lightning take the court at ULM. The Lady Lightning have won multiple tournaments and will be the host team for the area.
The first two days of the tournament will be a pool play format with two teams from each bracket winning their way into the official national championship bracket.
One loss will not eliminate a team completely but will stop them from getting into the championship bracket in the long run.
"We are very excited to have a competition of this magnitude in the Monroe area," said Alana Cooper, Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau executive Director. "Coaches, athletes, parents and fans will be visiting our area from across the country. The economic impact of a championship tournament will be very strong."
Local fans will also have a plethora of options when it comes to attending the tournament games at ULM.
Single day tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children 7-12. Fans may also purchase a weekly pass that will get them into all the games during the week for $40 for adults and $30 for 7-12 year old children.