ODU To Play Fairfield In Springfield for the Inaugural Holiday Showcase
By ODU Athletics
Oct. 15, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the addition of 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier Old Dominion and Fairfield to the inaugural Holiday Showcase schedule held at MassMutual Center on Friday, December 9th.
The event will include featured matchups from all three NCAA Divisions, with a Division I doubleheader also showcasing UMass and Siena, which had been previously announced. UMass is expecting a breakout season, including the addition of freshman Cady Lalanne, who was recently named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Rookie Team.
"We are excited to work in conjunction with three of our neighbor institutions as well as new MAAC friends to develop a great celebration of college basketball for Western Massachusetts," said John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "The Hall of Fame hopes that the Holiday Showcase becomes an annual mainstay in our basketball community."
Old Dominion comes off its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and second CAA conference championship with one of its most talented teams to date. The Monarchs, who are looking to top their impressive 27 wins last year, are led by 6-5 senior guard Kent Bazemore, the 2011 National Defensive Player of the Year. Old Dominion was a No. 9 seed in last year's NCAA Tournament before losing at the buzzer to two-time tournament finalist Butler.
Fairfield has been listed by media outlets as one of four mid-major programs that have the potential to reach this year's Final Four in New Orleans. Derek Needham returns as the team's go-to offensive threat and will be joined by Boston College transfer Rakim Sanders who is expected to make a major impact. Head coach Sydney Johnson takes over the program after leading Princeton for the past four seasons.
The Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase will tip-off with Division II schools AIC and Philadelphia University at 3:00 pm. Philadelphia is coached by Herb Magee, the all-time NCAA wins leader at any level and was recently Enshrined into the Hall of Fame this past summer. A Division III matchup between Springfield College and Trinity College will follow at 5:00 pm finishing with a Division I doubleheader. The 7:00 pm game will feature UMass and Siena with the final game between Fairfield and Old Dominion University starting around 9:00 pm.
Tickets will be priced at $20 and $10. Tickets will be good for all four games and go on sale Tuesday October 18 at 10:00 AM via Ticketmaster outlets or the MassMutual Center box office during business hours.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level - professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.