Springfield, Mass. (Feb. 24, 2020) – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the field of teams for the first-ever Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase, a newly developed college basketball double-header held in conjunction with The O2 arena on Sunday, December 6, 2020. The inaugural event will feature Marist College vs. University of Maryland, Baltimore County at 3:00 p.m. London time and University of Kentucky vs. University of Michigan at 6:00 p.m.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate the game on a global scale and we couldn’t be more excited to host four Division I men’s teams in London this December,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The O2 is a beautiful, world-class venue and we expect many U.S.-based fans will make the trip to enjoy its amenities and support their teams abroad. We’re also looking forward to showcasing collegiate hoops to the local fans and growing the appreciation for basketball at all levels worldwide.”
“We are honoured to be hosting the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase at The O2 this December,” Gael Caselli, VP of Sports, AEG Europe commented. “Fans from around the world will come to celebrate basketball and enjoy the excitement and experience of college basketball in our world class venue for the very first time, as we look forward to welcoming teams from Kentucky, Michigan, Marist and UMBC as part of this inaugural event.”
The Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase is one event in the Hall of Fame’s series of collegiate events, which continues to grow in an effort to celebrate the game outside the museum walls. Tickets for the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase will go on-sale to the general public on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. London time via AXS.com and The O2 arena box office. A special O2 Arena presale will be available starting Monday, February 24th. Television broadcast information will be released at a later date.
Quotes from Participating Head Coaches
“This series with Michigan checks off a lot of boxes when we’re looking at teams to schedule. The first thing is, to add an opponent like Michigan and to do so at a point in the schedule where we’re beginning to find out who we are as a team will be important in our development. And then to be able to do something different – to be first, which our fans know we love to do – and play this first game in London will be an unforgettable experience for our players and for our fans. I know our fans will show up in full force. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame always puts on a first-class event and I expect this will be the same.” – John Calipari, Kentucky coach and Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Hall of Famer
“What a tremendous opportunity for Michigan, Kentucky and college basketball itself. Not only are we starting a three-game series with one of the premier college programs in the country, we will be able to create that “once-in-a-lifetime” experience for our young men and our fans. We cannot thank the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enough for this opportunity. This is going to be truly special.” – Juwan Howard, Michigan
“We look forward to representing Marist and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in London next season. It’s an opportunity to face a quality opponent as part of a historic event, and it will be a terrific cultural experience for our program. Our trip to Belfast in 2018 was a memorable one, and we’d like to thank the Basketball Hall of Fame for working with us on another international trip.” John Dunne, Marist
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been asked to be a part of this event in London. It’s an amazing opportunity to bring Daniel (Akin) and R.J. (Eytle-Rock) back home to play in front of their families and friends. It will be a tremendous educational opportunity and cultural experience for our student athletes.” – Ryan Odom, UMBC