Following on from the undoubted success of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic series which was staged in 2017 and 2018. Inspirus Sports Management is expanding its portfolio by hosting the 2022 MAAC/ASUN Basketball Challenge at Basketball Ireland’s, National Basketball Arena, Dublin on November 18 and 19.
“Inspirus Sports is very proud to announce that we are launching this partnership with the MAAC and ASUN as we kick start our Classic event series bringing US Collegiate D1 basketball to a global audience,” said Inspirus Sports Chief Executive Scott McCarthy. He continued, “As international events begin to return as the pandemic winds down we are thrilled to be able to host this great event with our partners in Dublin.”
The MAAC ASUN Basketball Challenge, for one year only, will move to Dublin, Ireland featuring some of their top-level US college basketball teams from across their leagues. The tournament will include 4 men’s teams (two from each conference) and 4 women’s teams (two from each conference).
MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor is excited to bring this event to Dublin, Ireland for the first time in its history. “We at the MAAC are very excited, along with our colleagues ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart and his staff, to be taking the MAAC/ASUN Challenge concept to a new level with an international audience alongside our partners at Inspirus Sports,” said Ensor. “The MAAC staff contributed to the great success of the Belfast Basketball Classics in 2017 and 2018 and as we continue to grow the MAAC schools’ brands internationally and are very much looking forward to giving Irish basketball fans a taste of collegiate basketball in Dublin.”
“The ASUN and the MAAC have a great track record in partnering to provide outstanding student-athlete experiences. We appreciate the leadership of MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor and his staff as they built the option of taking the MAAC/ASUN Challenge overseas. Our teams are excited about the prospect of playing in Dublin and we look forward to an outstanding debut on the Emerald Isle,” said ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart.
The MAAC first partnered with Sport Changes Life and Inspirus Sports in 2017 and 2018 for the Belfast Basketball Classic. The original events held in Belfast made sporting history in bringing the first Division I college four team and eight team tournaments to Europe. This created sporting opportunity for school children, community groups, clubs and local people to witness collegiate basketball and entertainment which otherwise can only be seen across the Atlantic.
“We are so excited to welcome the opportunity to host this event in Dublin with the great addition of bringing division I female basketball to the island. We recognized in 2018, with our Hall of Famer Ambassador Katie Smith, we had so much more work to do bringing equality to our event properties. The ambition and talent of Irish women in our sport of basketball deserve equal recognition and we hope our event will continue to help and make a significant impact to this objective growing the female game.” said Marc Mulholland, Executive Director.
Gareth Maguire, Chairman & Founder of Inspirus Sports added, “We are so very proud to continue to build on the great work that the Sports Changes Life Foundation has delivered with the Belfast Events and together with our partners at the MAAC and ASUN and the team at Inspirus Sports as we plan to show that we have a unique business model, with a clear emphasis on social responsibility that will not only help the sport of basketball grow on a global stage but address vital messaging around our work with international study abroad. This is just the beginning of a global strategy, that was halted by the pandemic, as we reconnect the world through sport and education.”
Dublin is a city that gives warm Irish welcome that will be waiting for the teams, fans, family and schools’ alumni. This event will bring with it the chance for many US Irish Americans to return home after a long pandemic bringing a vital lift to the tourism industry and economy.
Participating teams and ticket release date will be announced at a later date.
About Inspirus Sports: Inspirus Sports, creating premium inspirational live sporting events for a global audience.
Inspirus Sports has been created to build on the success of the first ever NCAA Collegiate basketball Tournament in Europe, the “Belfast Basketball Classic” 2017 & 2018 in conjunction with the Sport Changes Life Foundation. Inspirus has one clear mission, to bring this event series to a global audience to inspire communities through the power of sport.
About MAAC: With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 41st year of competition during the 2021-22 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter’s University, and Siena College.
ASUN Conference, Atlanta, Ga. - the only DI conference headquartered in the ATL, our footprint's primary media, sports, business, transportation and cultural hub
The ASUN, a Division I conference member of the NCAA, boasts a membership of institutions that share visionary leadership, bold ambition and creative innovation. As a nimble adaptive conference, unafraid to blaze a national pathway for better service to our student-athletes, teams, and institutions, the ASUN has a proud history of firsts, national academic and athletic achievements and a conference culture that walks the walk with its four ASUN Beams. Students First! Rise. Connect. Impact. #ASUNBuilt by Bellarmine (Louisville), Central Arkansas (Conway), Eastern Kentucky (Richmond), FGCU (Fort Myers), Jacksonville (Fla.), Jacksonville State (Jacksonville, Ala.), Kennesaw State (Ga.), Liberty (Lynchburg, Va.), Lipscomb (Nashville), North Alabama (Florence), North Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.), and Stetson (DeLand, Fla.). Austin Peay, based in Clarksville, Tenn., is set to join the league in the 2022-23 academic year.
About Sport Changes Life Foundation: The primary goal of SCL is to provide an opportunity for raising the aspiration of young people on both sides of the Atlantic so that they can live out their dreams and guide them as sport changes their lives. We are a sports foundation built on inspiration, hope and victory. SCL works in disadvantaged communities to help young people find a path to a brighter future with the help of our international student athletes, the Victory Scholars. Sport Changes Life continues to help change the lives of young people on the island of Ireland and beyond through the support of the Inspirus Sports events.