Governor McDonnell Announces "Governor's Holiday Hoops Classic"
RICHMOND – Standing on the Richmond Coliseum court, Governor Bob McDonnell along with coaches, athletic directors and other officials from eight Virginia universities announced today the “Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic”, a basketball doubleheader to benefit Virginia’s Food Banks. The “Classic” will take place in December 2012 and 2013 and feature in-state teams representing the ACC, CAA, MEAC and Atlantic 10.
The “Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic” Matchups
George Mason vs. University of Richmond (early game)
The University of Virginia vs. Old Dominion University (late game)
Hampton University vs. James Madison University (early game)
Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Commonwealth University (late game)
Speaking about the “Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic” Governor McDonnell remarked, “Virginia has long been home to some of the nation’s premier collegiate basketball programs. Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls. Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The “Classic” will change that. In December 2012 and 2013 the Richmond Coliseum will be the site of what are certain to be exciting games which will allow Virginians to celebrate our great colleges and universities while supporting a great cause, the Commonwealth’s Food Banks. I hope the Classic will become a long-lasting Virginia athletic tradition. And, as a father who has had children attend UVa, Virginia Tech, ODU, JMU and VCU, I’m definitely staying neutral in this one!”
Speaking about the participation of UVa in the “Classic”, Governor McDonnell noted, “We are honored to have UVa representing the ACC in the inaugural Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic next year in Richmond. Virginia has a storied basketball history, and Coach Tony Bennett is building a great program in Charlottesville. We are excited to welcome the Wahoos to Richmond next December.”
The idea for the all-Virginia basketball doubleheader came from an appearance made by then Governor-elect McDonnell on “Sports Phone with Big Al” on ESPN 950AM in Richmond in December 2009. During the segment, host Al Coleman mentioned the Richmond Times-Dispatch basketball tournament that existed from 1976-1991 and regularly brought top Virginia programs to the Coliseum. Coleman noted the broad interest in getting such a tournament back in action, especially given the recent and historical successes of Virginia schools on the court. The “Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic” is the result of that conversation.
“We’re pleased to participate in the inaugural Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic in 2012 along with other outstanding basketball programs from the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage. “The Classic will showcase the outstanding basketball programs, players and coaches in the state of Virginia.”
Details regarding tickets and exact game times will be released in the spring of 2012 and 2013 for each year’s “Classic.”
“We look forward to participating in the first Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic during the 2012-13 season,” said Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett. “The Classic will serve to highlight the high level of intercollegiate basketball played in Virginia.”
Virginia’s game with Old Dominion will be the first between the teams since the 2007-08 season when the Cavaliers defeated the Monarchs 80-76 at John Paul Jones Arena in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament (CBI). UVa leads the series with Old Dominion 9-4 and the Cavaliers have won the last three games in the series.
The teams have met five times at the Richmond Coliseum and Virginia won four of those games. All of those games were played in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament.
Corporations and individuals interested in sponsorship opportunities can email: GovernorsClassic@governor.virginia.gov for additional information.
Virginians can visit http://www.governor.virginia.gov/hoops-classic, to sign up for updates in the months ahead regarding the “Classic.”