McDonnell announces holiday hoops event to raise money for food banks

Standing on the Richmond Coliseum court, Gov. Bob McDonnell along with coaches, athletic directors and other officials from eight Virginia universities announced today the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic a basketball doubleheader to benefit Virginia’s Food Banks.

The Classic will take place in December 2012 and 2013 and feature in-state teams representing the ACC, CAA, MEAC and Atlantic 10.

Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic Matchups

December 2012

  • George Mason vs. University of Richmond
  • The University of Virginia vs. Old Dominion University

December 2013

  • Hampton University vs. James Madison University
  • Virginia Tech vs. Virginia Commonwealth University

“Virginia has long been home to some of the nation’s premier collegiate basketball programs. Virginia teams have appeared in Final Fours, won conference championships and are regularly ranked in national Top 25 polls. Unfortunately, given scheduling constraints and conference affiliations, we too rarely get to witness our in-state teams competing against each other. The Classic will change that,” McDonnell said.

The idea for the all-Virginia basketball doubleheader came from an appearance made by then Gov.-elect McDonnell on “Sports Phone with Big Al” on ESPN 950AM in Richmond in December 2009. During the segment, host Al Coleman mentioned the Richmond Times-Dispatch basketball tournament that existed from 1976-1991 and regularly brought top Virginia programs to the Coliseum.

Coleman noted the broad interest in getting such a tournament back in action, especially given the recent and historical successes of Virginia schools on the court. The Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic is the result of that conversation.

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