PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- In Texas high school basketball, it all begins in Pasadena.
The McDonald's Texas Invitational is a preseason basketball tournament that pulls teams from all over the state, with a mission of giving back to Pasadena.
"We have brought in $2.2 million to the Pasadena and Deer Park education foundations, so I think it means quite a bit," says tournament director Bob Ellis.
Ellis has been involved since its inception in 2003.
"My job is to match up the team. Whether they like it or not, I am the one that says you are playing on this team or you are playing on that team," Ellis said.
There are 48 boys teams and 32 girls teams, spread through 10 different courts in the Pasadena area.
"Our motto is, 'The road to state starts here'," Ellis said.
The tournament is so popular, it gets booked months in advance. The waiting list has about 20 boys and 20 girls on it.
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Pasadena basketball tournament looks to give back to city