Blue Devils ready for Philips Arena showdown - CBS 5 - KPHO

Blue Devils ready for Philips Arena showdown

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TIFTON, GA (WALB) -

The Blue Devils are loaded with college talent, some of whom could make it to the NBA one day.

On Tuesday though, the whole team will be on an NBA floor.

Tift County is headed to Atlanta to take on Wilkinson County at Philips Arena Tuesday night.

The two perennial basketball powers will collide prior to tomorrow night's Hawks-Magic game that will be played on the same floor.

"It's one thing to think about playing in the NBA. It's another thing to actually play on an NBA floor," says head coach Eric Holland.

Holland says it will do nothing but good things for his team to be around the pros.

"To see how big the court is, how faraway the three point line is actually from the basket," he says. "I think the most important thing for our kids to get an opportunity to see the Hawks play  and the Orlando Magic play, to be in that locker room, to see how the pro teams actually warm up, prepare, and get ready for a game. It's going to be a blessing within itself."

Holland says only two of his players have ever seen an NBA game live, so it's a treat they will get to play on an NBA court.

But this isn't just a experience for memories.

The Devils are taking on the defending Class A champs in Wilkinson County.

Playing a team like the Warriors in arena with close to a thousand fans expected to fill the seats will seem more like a title game to the Devils than a regular season contest.

And that's exactly the idea, Holland says.

"Every game we play this year, we want to have a state championship game type of environment. That's why our schedule looks the way it does," he says. "Tomorrow won't be any different. Wilkinson County brings a tradition of success in there and we're going to have to be ready to play against 94 feet of pressure, which we're excited about."

The Devils and Warriors tip off at 1 p.m. at Philips Arena.

Tickets are still available for the game, and fans who buy a ticket for the Tift/Wilkinson game also receive admission to the Hawks/Magic game later Tuesday night.

To purchase tickets, call Carder Berry with the Atlanta Hawks at (404) 878-3864.

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