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      Heartland Hoops Classic Helps Grand Island Economy

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      The State Fair isn't the only thing drawing big bucks into Grand Island.

      Saturday's Heartland Hoops Classic can add its name to the list of money makers for the city.

      Now in its sixth year, the event brought in 16 high school basketball teams, not to mention close to five thousand fans to fill the seats for the nightcap game.

      "That's going to be a huge impact on Grand Island -- the hotels, food, housing, everything else, and I think it's a huge impact for Grand Island," said event volunteer Monte Hehnke. "I think Tino just had an idea to bring in different teams and now it's kind of turned into an event where we can still host local teams and we can bring in some different attractions later."

      Officials say people started filing in for early morning games and staying throughout the whole event, with some even staying overnight to make a weekend out of it.

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