Lynchburg, VA - For the first time in more than 20 years, hundreds of high school athletes are competing in Lynchburg. The All Star competitions this week are a great showcase, not just for student athletes, but for the city as well. With all the visitors in town, it means more income for area businesses.
It's a bittersweet day for Chris Brown, the last time he will see his daughter Keyana play high school basketball.
"She's excited to spend some more time as a high school kid, and then, it's back off to college for this new adventure," said Brown.
It's the first time the Virginia High School Coaches Association All Star Games have been held in Lynchburg since 1992.
The city's contract with the games runs through 2016. While Hampton Roads and Newport News might have more attractions and theme parks nearby, tourism officials say Lynchburg's state of the art facilities at Liberty University and Lynchburg College, as well as their hospitality, are big selling points to athletes and their families.
"Lynchburg has changed in recent years, there's a lot more to offer," said Lynchburg Tourism Director Sergei Troubetzkoy.
With athletes and families making Lynchburg their home this week, Troubetzkoy says it's a perfect opportunity for Lynchburg to shine.
"We are enthusiastic about their visit, we hope that they will come back, we hope that they spend money while they are in the community, and that they enjoy themselves, that's the most important part," said Troubetzkoy.
And that's exactly what Keyana Brown is planning to do.
"I think the most I'll miss is playing for my dad. I've been playing for him since I was six, so we have a good bond. It's going to be different to see him in the stands, rather than coaching me," said Brown.
ABC 13 spoke with Jeff Barber, athletic director at Liberty University. While Lynchburg's contract with the games expires in 2016, he says he and the rest of the city are confident that coaches and athletes will want to make Lynchburg their new, permanent home.