LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — The United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Basketball Championships will return to Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, for the 10th consecutive year, from Feb. 27 through March 3.
Penn State Fayette has hosted the event since 2009. In 2013, the USCAA extended Fayette’s host bid through 2018, citing favorable facilities, support from local businesses and organizations, and the “incredible hospitality” of the region.
The championships have expanded over the last decade to include 34 teams competing in four divisions over five days. Penn State Fayette has made updates to facilities and processes to better accommodate the event, including the addition of a $50,000 video board.
“This event creates an opportunity for student-athletes and community members to watch and participate in a nationally recognized championship experience—at the local level,” said Lou Zadecky, athletic director at Penn State Fayette.
Athletes will compete as individuals in the skills competition at noon Tuesday, Feb. 27, which includes 3-point, hot-shot, and slam-dunk contests. The Fayette County Hoops Festival, started in 2013 and supported by the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, is held during the week of the tournament and features a celebration with community vendors, performances, and a free youth basketball clinic hosted by USCAA at 10 a.m.. March 3.
“The annual USCAA tournament is a prime example of the successful partnerships Penn State Fayette has developed with key organizations in Fayette County,” said Bob Shark, executive director of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council. “Fay-Penn has been proud to support such a collaborative event, which has, for the past decade, meant so much to our local tourism economy.”
The week’s events draw, on average, over 800 participants and thousands of spectators, driving an economic impact of more than $500,000 to the region. Penn State Fayette has submitted a pending bid to host the event in 2019 and 2020.
“Our association is thrilled to be returning to Uniontown and the Laurel Highlands for the 10th year of the USCAA Basketball National Championships at Penn State Fayette,” said Matt Simms, executive director of USCAA. “It is rare in our business to see a city or member institution host an event for more than a few years at a time. Penn State Fayette has been a dedicated partner to the USCAA, providing first class experiences for thousands of student-athletes across the country, showcasing the region, and making memories that will last a lifetime. We are extremely thankful to the staff, faculty, and students for the enthusiasm they have maintained around this event since 2009, and hopefully for many more years to come.”
The USCAA partnered with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in 2010 to provide exclusive lodging to visiting teams. In 2013, Nemacolin became the presenting sponsor of the tournament, as well as the title sponsor of the annual skills competition held at the Fayette campus prior to the start of the tournament.
“The USCAA National Basketball Championships event has become a tradition on our campus,” said Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer of Penn State Fayette. “We appreciate the opportunities the USCAA provides for our student-athletes, our local businesses, and our community at large—and we’re looking forward to the future.”
Tournament events are open to the public. Daily, game, and tournament passes are available for purchase, and the event will be livestreamed at basketball.theuscaa.com and broadcasted at wmbs590.com.