The Mel Young Easter Basketball Classic is much more than just another opportunity to showcase one of the fastest growing sports in the region.
It has the second largest number of participants of any tournament in New Zealand other than the Maori Nationals, with 130 boys' and girls' representative teams made up of players between the ages of 11 and 19 in action.
Included in the teams from all over the North Island are all-star sides from the Country Cup in Australia who also made the trip across the Tasman Sea last year.
Tauranga City Basketball general manager Mark Rogers says the association has a record number of local rep teams competing.
"We have got 20 this year. That is the most we have ever had. That is due to the growing popularity of our sport and we are still turning people away from the rep programme. The quality and number of kids keeps going up," he said.
"It is great that we are continuing to grow. It is also the first time ever we have two under-19 boys' teams and an under-15 B girls' team. It is a pretty tough competition but we are hoping most of our A teams will be top four. It will be a good gauge of where we are at."
But off the court is where the Mel Young Easter Basketball Classic is in a class of its own with education courses run Friday, Saturday and Sunday for referees and coaches.
The courses are led by American Jim Foster and Patrick Hunt from Australia who are highly respected internationally coaching gurus.
"It is unique that we do this to the level we do it. Bringing in experts from overseas to oversee programmes that otherwise people wouldn't get access to," Rogers said.
"Patrick is president of the World Basketball Coaches Association and is on several FIBA commissions. He is a mentor to several different codes for Australia at the Olympics and is extremely highly respected in the coaching ranks and in basketball right around the world.
"[Foster] is the only coach who has had over 200 wins at three different first division colleges, he is sixth all-time for career wins, is in the women's basketball hall of fame, and he has been involved with USA Basketball as a coach and a selector.
"I don't think even the basketball people realise how huge it is to have someone of his calibre come to our country and be willing to share knowledge with whoever is willing to come along to the clinic and listen to one of the legends of the sport. It is a great opportunity for all of our members and people involved in the event to rub shoulders with somebody who is one of the best in the world."
The referee workshops will be overseen by John Martin, an former FIBA educator who has been to Olympic Games all over the world as a referee and referee evaluator.
The first game tips off at 10.30am on Good Friday with play going well into the evening each day right through until finals on Monday afternoon. ASB Baypark Arena is the main venue with Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, Aquinas College and Tauranga Boys' College also hosting matches.