For more than a decade, Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, has hosted the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Basketball Championships, providing players and fans countless memories and stories from the annual event. The upcoming 2020 tournament, slated for March 7 to 14 on campus, will mark the final time the USCAA championship will be played at Fayette.
“We’re grateful to have facilitated such a celebrated tradition on campus in the region for many years. We’re excited about the future of athletics at Penn State Fayette,” said Lou Zadecky, athletic director. “We wish the best for the USCAA moving forward and look forward to continuing our great relationship with them.”
Penn State Fayette’s bid to host the event will expire following the 2020 games, which will take place from March 7 to 14. The tournament will be held in the city of Richmond, Virginia, in 2021 and 2022.
Fayette has hosted the event since 2009, which comprises 36 men’s and women’s basketball teams from around the country competing in four divisions and various skill competitions.
“Hosting high-profile events like the annual USCAA National Basketball Championships is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Penn State Fayette, our local community, and our region to thousands of people,” said Dr. Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State Fayette. “The success of this event has positively impacted the local and regional economy and allowed the tournament to blossom. We plan on building on the past decade of success and look to host other events in our community.”
The tournament is estimated by the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council to have a $500,000 economic impact in the region annually. Penn State Fayette hosts over 100 events each year, bringing thousands of visitors from neighboring states and across Pennsylvania to the campus annually, including the “Concert on the Lawn” each August and the “Benefit Fayette” every October.
Matt Simms, executive director of the USCAA, said, “More than a decade ago, representatives from Penn State Fayette accepted the challenge from the USCAA to host each of its four basketball national championship tournaments consecutively. We will be forever grateful to Penn State Fayette, Fayette County, the Laurel Highlands, and the hundreds of individuals and organizations who contributed to creating opportunities, experiences and memories for our student-athletes.”
“Penn State Fayette has laid the foundation for the success of all USCAA national championships and elevated the quality of experience our association provides young men and women across the country,” Simms said. “This is the toughest decision for the association in many years. We look forward to hosting the USCAA National Wrestling Invitational at Penn State Fayette this year and will seek mutually beneficial opportunities with the campus moving forward.”