Newport News, VA ? For the first time in the history of the USCAA, all three basketball National Championship tournaments will be held concurrently. It was announced on Wednesday by the USCAA Board of Directors that Penn State Fayette, in affiliation with the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) western division will be the host of the 2009 and 2010 National Championship Tournaments.
It was a surprise to many USCAA representatives when a bid for all three basketball championships came in. However, after careful deliberation, it was decided that this would be a very exciting move for the association. USCAA Commissioner, Bill Casto states, ?The concept of having all three tournaments concurrently in the same area is an idea that has been in the works for some time, however, we haven?t been able to work it out logistically. After careful thought and due diligence, it was apparent that Penn State Fayette and the PSUAC had both the resources and the cooperation necessary to pull off an event of this magnitude.?
The tournament will kick off on March 3, 2009, with an impressive dinner cruise for all participants. The opening banquet/awards night will be hosted on the ?Gateway Clipper,? (pictured right) which tours the Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers, past Pittsburgh?s historic steel mills as well as Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers ? NFL) and PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates ? MLB). Penn State Fayette athletic director and tournament director, Vince Capozzi, states, ?Because we know that the basketball championships are such a premier event, we wanted to add a "wow" factor to them. We want the participants to walk away saying quite simply that this was the best athletic experience they ever had.? Along with this new experience for our athletes, the host will also put on a ?Salute to the Champions? celebration following the conclusion of our Championship games.
The 2009 Championship games will come at a time of great excitement and celebration in the western Pennsylvania region, as Pittsburgh celebrates its 250th anniversary. Host sites for the tournament will be Penn State Fayette and Penn State Greater Allegheny, which are located approximately 30 miles from the steel city. Vince Capozzi states, ?Take the highest level of excitement that you can think of and multiply it by 100 and you begin to understand how we feel about hosting this tournament. With that excitement comes a great deal of humility as well. We are humbled that the USCAA has provided us with this opportunity. I know that it has been a dream for the organization to find an opportunity to host all three events at the same location, and we are humbled by the USCAA's confidence in us.?
In a time of significant growth in the USCAA, we are excited to host this event with our new members of the Penn State University Athletic Conference. With the collaboration and dedication of involved members like the western schools of the PSUAC, this tournament is sure to be a great experience for all USCAA players, coaches, dignitaries, and fans. Many thanks go out to the PSUAC for their efforts in putting together this bid.
*Save the dates of the 2009 and 2010 USCAA Basketball Championships
2009 ? March 3-7
2010 ? March 2-6
**Next season, log on to http://www.theuscaa.com/ for all up to date information on this event!