Oran Basketball Tournament Turns 50
By: Ryan Tate
ORAN, MO --Basketball tournaments in the Heartland are special for the host communities. In Oran, the tournament has been special for 50 years.
This year is the 50 anniversary of the Oran Invitational Tournament. Seven teams travel to Oran to play in the week-long event. But for fans in Oran, the tournament is a special occasion.
"Some people wait by the front doors to get in for the first game at 4:00pm," Oran Superintendent Mitch Wood said. "We have a group of 50-100 people who are very loyal to this tournament."
One of those people is Margaret Blattel. She began high school in Oran in 1960, five years after the tournament began. She went to her first tourney game that year, and has gone every year since.
"People like to go to these games because you only have so many in a year. You don't want to miss any of them," Blattel said. "I can't imagine not having this tournament in town."