The Basketball Hall of Fame-hosted Jerry Colangelo Classic will bounce back into the Footprint Center after a pandemic-dictated break.
Friday, December 17, and Saturday, December 18, will see some of college basketball’s top teams. San Diego State and St. Mary’s College hit the floor on December 17.
The following day features No. 1 Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech, USC vs. Georgia Tech, Grand Canyon vs. San Francisco and Northern Arizona vs. San Diego. The games will be broadcasted on Flosports, CBS and the PAC 12 Network.
“We were really excited about the field that we had scheduled for December of 2020,” says Greg Procino, Basketball Hall of Fame vice president of events and partnerships.
“That event was looking to be really strong for the third version of the classic. Luckily for us, we were able to maintain the majority of those teams to roll over into 2021.”
For the hall of fame, the event means giving college athletes who won’t go to the next level a memorable experience.
“Obviously there is a lot of value to having games played on campus, especially from a student perspective,” Procino says. “But when teams get these off-campus opportunities of being inside an NBA venue, it’s just different than being on campus.”
Among the players competing during the December weekend are No. 1 NBA prospect Chet Holmgren and preseason Wooden Award favorite Drew Timme, both suiting up for Gonzaga.
“Gonzaga carries the No. 1 team in the country ranking for a reason, and they’ve obviously got some star power that’s going to do well for them this season,” Procino says.
According to Procino, Phoenix was the ideal location for an event of his magnitude.
“We’re looking for teams who want to challenge themselves to participate in this kind of event,” Procino says. “Phoenix obviously is a great neutral site with the renovation of the arena. With the Suns and the Mercury coming off of finals appearances, basketball is popular right now in Phoenix.”
Jerry Colangelo Classic
WHEN: Various times Friday, December 17, and Saturday, December 18
WHERE: Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix
COST: Tickets start at $25
INFO: 602.379.7800, footprintcenter.com