The partners of Atlanta-based JumpBall LLC have announced the remaining field of teams for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Tip-Off Championship event to be held in Atlanta, Nov. 7-11.
Four Division I teams and four Division II teams will compete in the event to be held at Atlanta’s Philips Arena, bringing the total to eight for the inaugural basketball tournament.
Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, will host the annual event. It will mark the first time in the arena’s 14-year history that it has hosted a HBCU function and most recently named its remaining field of teams.
“We are thrilled to announce the complete field of teams for the inaugural HBCU Tip-Off,” said Kevin Clayton, JumpBall founder. “We anticipate this historical event will bring great excitement and fierce competition. Additionally, a significant amount of the proceeds will go toward scholarships for Atlanta-area high school students to attend one of the participating universities.”
The Division II teams scheduled to compete are Virginia Union and Johnson C. Smith from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and Tuskegee from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), which will join conference counterpart Morehouse College.
The Division I ranks will include Norfolk State from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), while Wisconsin-Green Bay, a non-HBCU school from the Horizon League, round out the field.
“It’s an honor and pleasure to be invited to the first HBCU Tip-Off Championship,” Norfolk State Head Coach Robert Jones said. “To compete against some of the best HBCUs in the country to start the season is exciting. Due to scheduling conflicts we never play the SWAC and now this provides us that opportunity. With Atlanta’s rich HBCU culture, there is no better place to have it.”
“Although our university is not an HBCU, we recognize the importance of these historical institutions and are honored to support and participate in the inaugural tournament,” Wisconsin-Green Bay Head Coach Brian Wardle said.
Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, will host the annual event. Additionally, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Sam Jones, a graduate of North Carolina Central University, will serve as ambassador of the event.
The Tip-Off Tournament will take place in Atlanta every Veterans Day weekend as a week-long celebration showcasing the athletic talents and achievements of current and past HBCU players and coaches. Additionally, it will celebrate the rich history and contributions of the HBCU culture and provide a platform for alumni, friends and supporters to come together to address social, health and economic issues and opportunities.
Tickets first went on sale Monday, Aug. 26. For more information, visit http://www.hbcutipoff.com.