PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – The 18th annual Marlin Christmas Classic high school basketball tournament is set to return to Panama City Beach this week.

A total of 32 high school teams (18 boys and 14 girls) will compete in the Marlin Christmas Classic.

Games will be played all day December 28-30 at three locations; Breakfast Point Academy, Surfside Middle School and Arnold High School.

Five local teams are competing in the tournament including the Bay, Chipley, Blountstown and Arnold boys teams and the Poplar Springs girls.

Teams from all over the southeast including from Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Miami will be in attendance, and Arnold head boys basketball coach, TJ Jackson said he hopes to see the regional tournament continue to grow.

“I want people to come from all over,” Jackson said. “Looking forward to this being a national tournament real soon. That’s my motivation and determination to make sure that this is a national event. For 18 years Visit Panama City Beach has put this event on for us, and I see it growing even bigger. More teams, we’re bringing in college coaches to the beach, you know, that’s my main objective, to get these kids scholarships, to get them seen. There’s some raw talent in this area that deserve to have a look, so my goal is to bring attention here.”

Games will begins Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the final championship match being played on Friday evening.