Christine Lee, NBC 5 Grand Prairie Reporter
South Grand Prairie's High School boys basketball team is in Austin hoping to advance to the state basketball finals for the first time in more than three decades.
South Grand Prairie is heading to the state basketball tournament after more than three decades.
"I'm very excited," shooting guard Ben Emelogu said. "I'm not leaving high school without a ring. I'm not leaving high school without a ring. I want one real bad."
Point guard Mark Howell said the journey to Austin would unforgettable.
"It's only a once-in-a-lifetime chance when you get to play for a state title your senior year, so I'm just blessed to be here," he said.
This is the first time since 1975 that the boys basketball team has made it to the tournament. The team plays in the 5A Semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Before classes began Thursday morning, the entire school celebrated the team's accomplishments this season and cheered them on to the state tournament. As the team bus prepared to leave, parents and faculty members bid their final well wishes to the team.
"We're going to win," head coach Brandon Bennett said. "This is not a vacation for us. It's an opportunity for us to go down and win the state championship, and that's the goal that we set in the beginning of our season."
South Grand Prairie faces Cibolo Steele on Friday at 3 p.m. The winner will goes on to the finals game on Saturday night.
On Friday morning, two school buses filled with students and a bus with staff members will head down to support the players. Classes are not scheduled Friday because of a district staff development day.