Lemon Street Classic Showcases High School Basketball Talent, Honors Black History

Cobb County, Ga. – The Lemon Street Classic Presented by Superior Plumbing will host its inaugural tournament on December 19, 21, and 22. This three-day basketball tournament will highlight young athletes and honor the Lemon Street community in Marietta.

The name of the event pays homage to the area’s only school for minorities during segregation. The Lemon Street School was a place of community and pride for the Black community in Marietta and throughout Cobb County. The last graduating class was in 1966 before its integration with Marietta High School.

“We are fortunate to have an event like the Lemon Street Classic in our community not only from a tourism standpoint but from a historical standpoint as well,” said Rachel Rogers, Director of Sports Sales & Engagement at Cobb Travel & Tourism and the Cobb Sports Alliance. “Lemon Street has such a rich history, and to see it honored in a unique way is a testament to the innovation and thoughtfulness of the sports community in Cobb.”

The Lemon Street Classic will showcase high school level basketball and serve as a catalyst for change. More than 25 schools from around the state are scheduled to participate, and Marietta High School will be playing as Lemon Street High School to honor the history and the legacy of the school.

“An event like the Lemon Street Classic is an excellent way to further connect basketball and community,” said Jesse McMillan, Head Boys Basketball Coach at Norcross High School. “By spotlighting Lemon Street High and focusing on the school’s story and relation to the surrounding area, basketball fans can hopefully gain an appreciation for a significant piece of local history.”

Marietta City Schools announced plans to relocate its central office to the old Lemon Street High School near the Marietta Square, and the new structure will be designed to replicate the Lemon Street High School building that was demolished in 1967. The plan also included details to renovate Lemon Street Grammar School as the new home to the Marietta Performance Learning Center, a division of Marietta High School. A small exhibition inside the school will tell the story of the once-segregated school system, while outdoor interpretive panels will focus on the surrounding community’s history.

“We are honored to wear the Lemon Street Hornets uniforms and represent all of those that came before us, just as we do when we put on the Marietta Blue Devils uniform,” said Coach Nicholas Estes, Varsity Assistant Boys Basketball Coach at Marietta High School. “We hope to inspire and unite our community through this event and hope to make our city proud.”

Tickets are available to the public, and COVID-19 guidelines will be in place. There will also be an online viewing option via paid live stream. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit lemonstreetclassic.com.