CIAA Prepares for 2016 Basketball Tournament Week Complete with Games, Concerts and Events
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (CIAA) legacy continues with the 71st Men’s Basketball and 42nd Women’s Basketball Tournament taking place in Charlotte, NC for the 11th consecutive year. The conference tournament will be held from February 23-27 at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
All-session and single game tickets are on-sale now and provide fans with access to 22 action-packed games, live performances by national recording artists Lyfe Jennings, Vivian Green, Raheem DeVaughan, Dwele and Mike Phillips; premium vendors, great food, shopping, contests, prizes and more. Tickets can be purchased at www.ciaatournament.org/tickets, Ticketmaster.com or the Time Warner Cable (TWC) Arena Box Office. Details for special ticket promotions can be found at www.ciaatournament.org/tickets. The CIAA also has free and ticketed official events taking place throughout tournament week.
Several tournament favorites will return such as: the CIAA Toyota Fan Fest Live, which is free and features performances by national recording artists Fabolous, Rico Love and Tank; the McDonald’s Greek Step Show and after-party feat. Jazzy Jeff & Kid Capri; and the McDonald’s High School Step Show Step Off. National recording artist Diggy Simmons, son of Run DMC’s legendary member Rev Run, will host both step shows. The John B. McLendon, Jr. CIAA Hall of Fame Breakfast will celebrate 10 great inductees during this year’s 2016 induction ceremony.
Rap icons EPMD & The Alumni, Chubb Rock, Special Ed, Kwame, Monie Love and Dana Dane will headline the Legends of Hip Hop Concert on Thursday, February 25. National recording artists Mint Condition, Lyfe Jennings and Vivian Green will perform at the Post Tournament Concert on Saturday, February 27. Both concerts will be followed by an official concert after-party, and held at the Charlotte Convention Center Crown Ballroom.
The highly anticipated McDonald’s Super Saturday, which is free and features the CIAA cheerleading exhibition, will take place at the Time Warner Cable Arena; and the CIAA Old School Skate Party featuring DJ Kool will be held at Kate’s Skating Rink off Independence Blvd.
The CIAA and its partners are committed to giving back to the community through the ‘CIAA Supports’ program, a community initiative launched by the CIAA to give back to the cities hosting their championship sports. During tournament week, the CIAA plans to make an impact through several community-focused events such as: CIAA Education Day, which engages high school and middle school students with educational seminars and speakers that promote staying in school and higher learning. This year, CIAA will open its annual Career Expo, usually reserved for recent graduates, and current students from CIAA member-schools and other colleges and universities in the Charlotte area, to the public in an effort to provide job opportunities to the local residents of the Charlotte community. The 2nd Annual CIAA Shoes of Hope in partnership with Samaritan’s Feet and Coke Zero take place at Billingsville Elementary School and will provide up to 500 shoes to students. Project Life Movement in partnership with the CIAA, its student leaders and Novant Health will conduct bone marrow drives throughout the week.
Two new official events will make their debut in the 2016 Basketball Tournament lineup. The CIAA, in partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), will host a ‘Finding Your Path to the Student Athlete Experience’ session to educate future student-athletes about competing at the collegiate level. An inaugural entrepreneur breakfast and panel discussion will be held on building generational pathways to success. This event is by invitation only. Other invitation only events includes CIAA Men’s and Women’s Tip Off Banquet, and Nationwide’s Women’s Empowerment Brunch.
“Each year we strive to provide a better tournament experience for our student-athletes, alumni, fans and supporters of the CIAA,” says CIAA Commissioner, Jacqie McWilliams. “With everything we do, we are adding to the rich legacy started over a century ago. I’m truly excited about this year’s tournament and believe it will be better than 2015.”
The CIAA also launched an official mobile app called, CIAA Front Row. With CIAA Front Row fans receive access to game recaps, score updates, breaking news, statistics, and alerts for all 16 CIAA championship sports. The mobile app is free and available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play; simply search CIAA Front Row.
Fans are encouraged to visit CIAATournament.org to purchase tickets, confirm details and the schedule and location of conference-affiliated events.