Five years after BYU-Hawaii ended their decorated Divison-II collegiate athletics program, the Seasiders home basketball venue will once again be rocking this November as home of a new D-I men’s basketball tournament.
The North Shore Classic will be held at the Cannon Activities Center during Thanksgiving weekend where among the four teams that will hit the court will be the University of Hawaii.
The tourney will serve somewhat of a homecoming for Rainbow Warriors senior guard Samuta Avea who won a state championship up the road at Kahuku High School.
According to tournament director Dan Shell, the remaining three teams in the four team tournament will be revealed in the coming months but aims to provide an experience as unique and memorable as the location of the event.
“I think it’s an experience beyond what happens within the four walls,” Shell told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “First and foremost I want the basketball to be good. I want it to be a good atmosphere, I want there to be good games in the venue and then I want the teams to have a good experience from when they arrive to when they leave.”
The semifinal and final of the bracket style two day tournament will be held on November 25 and 26 respectively.
For University of Hawaii basketball fans, the event hopes to provide an opportunity to watch the Rainbow Warriors in a road style game without the added costs of flying away from the island.
“It’s a good, competitive situation for the University of Hawaii to go play two games that are quote-end quote neutral, might not be that neutral,” Shell said with a laugh. “I think there’s two segments of fans. The Hawaii fan, season ticket holder, sees the team a lot. This is something that could be fun for them. A different experience than going to a conference tournament or going to see the team playing in Las Vegas, but more than that I think the fans on the North Shore that don’t get to see the Rainbow Warriors play very often,” said Shell. “We’re going to want to keep the ticket prices very reasonable. We’re trying to make this an experience, we’re not looking at this as a profit center, so try to get people there that don’t get to see the team play that often and sometimes those fans cheer a little bit louder and have a little bit more fun so we’re all for that also.”
The remaining three teams for the tournament and ticket information will be revealed in the coming months.
Stay with KHON2 on-air and online for continuing coverage of the North Shore Classic.