CIAA Basketball Tournament “Homecoming” Experience Tips Off Next Week
Conference and sponsors offer social, community and professional events during tournament
On Feb. 27, the 2018 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Basketball Tournament will tip off in Charlotte, N.C., running through Mar. 3. The conference invites alumni, fans and community members to join them for the “Homecoming” themed week, which offers various athletic, social, community, and professional events.
This year is the 73rd anniversary of the men’s tournament and 44th anniversary of the women’s tournament. The series of 22 action-packed games will commence at Bojangles’ Coliseum on Feb. 27 and run through Feb. 28. From Mar. 1 to Mar. 3, remaining games will be held at Spectrum Center.
Fans can still purchase all-session or single session tickets via Ticketmaster, or on-site at Bojangles’ Coliseum (Feb. 27 and 28 only) and Spectrum Center box offices. All-session ticket purchases provide access to all basketball games and the Celebrity Charity Basketball Game, celebrity performances and helps to provide scholarships for our institutions and students. Single session purchases also go towards scholarships, but fans may only attend games for the day(s) and session(s) purchased.
Lodging can still be booked through the conference’s hotel housing program, which offers attendees the best available rates for rooms in and around the Uptown Charlotte area. To book, visit CIAATournament.org/hotels or call Conference Direct at 844-293-6678 from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Fun and free
CIAA Toyota Fan Fest will be held on Friday, Mar. 2 and Saturday, Mar. 3 from Noon to 8 p.m. Both events will take place at the Charlotte Convention Center. Celebrities slated to appear include: R&B group, Bell Biv DeVoe; rappers Dave East, DJ Luke Nasty; and R&B group Volume 4.
In addition to special celebrity guest appearances, there will be a CIAA Big Day party with DJ Kool and three DJs spinning records; sneaker showcase; sponsor activations and over 40 vendors; as well as performances by the Divas of Olive Branch Majorette Team, hip-hop dance troupe Fuzion Force, and Charlotte Ultimate Cheer.
CIAA Super Saturday will be held on Mar. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon at its new location in the Charlotte Convention Center. Fans will enjoy performances by rappers Ayo & Teo, as well as the Phi Beta Sigma Step Team from Livingstone College and UFIT HS Cheer Champion; watch the CIAA Cheerleading Exhibition; and see who will be crowned Queen during the 2018 Food Lion Miss CIAA competition.
Food Lion will host a Teen Summit on Thursday, Mar. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center. The education workshop will focus on preparing teens for college and careers by teaching about healthy lifestyles and creating positive habits early in life.
Fan Fest, Super Saturday, and the Teen Summit are free and open to the public. For more information, visit CIAATournament.org.
A step show competition between college-level Greek organizations will be held on Friday, Mar. 2 and on Saturday, Mar. 3 for high schools. Both events will feature celebrity hosts who are cast members of MTV’s Wild ‘N Out and take place in the Charlotte Convention Center. Bell Biv DeVoe and rapper, Chubb Rock, will host the Greek Step Show after-party at the Charlotte Convention Center. Tickets for each event are required for entry.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 3, between the women’s and men’s championship game, a CIAA Celebrity Charity Basketball Game will be held. National recording artist, Tank; singer and actor, Rotimi (from Showtime’s “Power” and Star’s “Boss”); actor Sarunas J. Jackson (HBO’s “Insecure”); and lifestyle specialist and executive for Combs Enterprises, Kenny Burns, are among a few celebrities slated to play. There will be an after-party at the Charlotte Convention Center featuring over 40 celebrities. Tickets for both events are required for entry.
An Old School Skate Party will take place at Kate’s Skating Rink from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Attendees must be 21 to enter and tickets are required for entry.
The 2018 John B. McLendon CIAA Hall of Fame ceremony will induct 4 individual honorees and the 13 members of the 1967 WSSU men’s basketball team (under the leadership of legendary Head Coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines) into the new class on Friday, Mar. 2. These individuals will be recognized for their excellence in the CIAA, significant contributions in the community, leadership in CIAA sports and commitment to the CIAA mission. Tickets for this event are sold out.
For more information about these events, or to purchase tickets where available, visit CIAATournament.org or download the CIAA Tournament mobile app via iTunes or Google Play.
Tournament attendees looking to incorporate community service into their experience can participate in the Toyota Green Initiative on Thursday, Mar. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Johnson C. Smith University. Volunteers will revitalize the JCSU Sustainability Village Garden through gardening activities and tree seedling preparation. Participants will receive a t-shirt, lunch and certificate of completion for service credit. For more information, visit CIAATournament.org.
No time to volunteer physically? No worries. Fans can still contribute to a charitable cause through their personal devices. Each time the hashtag #BallinOnHunger is used on a social media platform, Food Lion will donate five meals, up to 24,000 meals, to local families in CIAA communities.
Other community events that will be held include: Education Day, slated to impact over 8,500 middle and high school students; 4th Annual Shoes of Hope in partnership with Samaritan’s Feet and Coke Zero, which provided over 700 pairs of socks and shoes to children in need last year; Diversity & Inclusion panel and reception; Career Expo with interactive professional development sessions; Minority Business & Leadership Symposium featuring Black Enterprise President and CEO, Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr. as the keynote. Registration to attend or volunteer at these events has closed.
For the entire list of CIAA Tournament happenings, to purchase event tickets where available, or information on game tickets, visit CIAATournament.org or download the CIAA Tournament mobile app via iTunes or Google Play.