AmericanAirlines Arena To Host First-Ever “Hoophall Miami Invitational”

Elite College Basketball Programs to Face Off During Thanksgiving Weekend  

Kentucky, Ohio State, Memphis and South Florida Featured in Double Header on November 27 

Miami, Florida – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the field of teams for the first-ever Hoophall Miami Invitational, a premier college basketball showcase held in conjunction with AmericanAirlines Arena the day after Thanksgiving. The one-day doubleheader on Friday, November 27, 2015 will feature Kentucky vs. South Florida and Ohio State vs. Memphis.

Tickets for the 2015 Hoophall Miami Invitational will go on-sale to the general public on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. via Ticketmaster.com.    

“The Basketball Hall of Fame is thrilled to be bringing premier college basketball matchups to Miami for the Thanksgiving holiday,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We appreciate the hospitality of the Miami HEAT and AmericanAirlines Arena and look forward to working with several great partners in the Miami area.”  

“The Hoophall Miami Invitational will bring all the enthusiasm and passion of college basketball to AmericanAirlines Arena,” said Jarred Diamond, Executive Vice President of HEAT Group Enterprises. “With three Hall of Famers—Pat Riley, Bob McAdoo and Alonzo Mourning—leading the Miami HEAT franchise, the Hoophall Miami Invitational is in good company in the city of Miami and we’re very excited to host these match ups.”  

Partners of the Hoophall Miami Invitational include The HEAT Group, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Miami-Dade Sports Commission. ESPN has also committed as a television partner and will release broadcasting information at a later date.  

Leading up to the Hoophall Miami Invitational, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will host several community and business events including a High School Basketball Showcase and a special Business Luncheon.  

The Hoophall Miami Invitational is the culmination of two separate multi-team events.  Campus round games will take place for each of the above-mentioned schools in two brackets. A full schedule of those games and opponents will be released at later date.  The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is the sponsoring conference of these multi-team events and a partner of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  

Quotes from Participating Head Coaches:

“It’s an honor and a privilege to participate in another Hall of Fame event and to play against a well-coached and talented team in Ohio State, led by future Hall of Fame head coach Thad Matta,” said Josh Pastner, University of Memphis Head Coach. “The Hall of Fame games have been great experiences for the Tigers program, and we are looking forward to playing in this special event.”

"We are looking forward to the new Basketball Hall of Fame event," said Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach. "The game against Memphis in Miami will certainly provide a quality experience for our team."  

Coach John Calipari of Kentucky said, “The Hoophall Miami Invitational is yet another opportunity for us to reach the Big Blue Nation in another part of the country. We have the greatest fans in the college basketball, so to give our fans in Miami an opportunity to see us seemed like an easy decision for us. Not only is it a Hall of Fame event, we also get to play against Orlando, who played such an instrumental part in what we have tried to build here. We are looking forward to the trip to Miami and South Florida’s return visit in 2016.”  

"We look forward to the challenge of playing one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball,” said Orlando Antigua, Head Coach of the University of South Florida. “I was fortunate enough to spend five great seasons at Kentucky, so I obviously have great respect for that program and coach John Calipari. I want to thank the folks at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for including USF in this inaugural event. I know our great fans will make it down to Miami in November."  

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:  

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.  For more information on these and other upcoming events, please visit our website at www.hoophall.com or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA.  

About American Airlines Arena:

Since its opening on December 31, 1999, the 19,600-seat AmericanAirlines Arena has proudly hosted megastars such as Marc Anthony, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, One Direction, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, U2, Justin Timberlake, Phish, Madonna, Maná, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars to name a few. In addition, AmericanAirlines Arena is home to family shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which maintains a long term, exclusive South Florida run. AmericanAirlines Arena has also played host to several live televised events including the 2004 and 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards and four NBA Finals, each placing Miami in the international spotlight. Private events have included product launches, corporate basketball tournaments, gala dinners and a host of meetings, large and small. For more information, please visit AAArena.com.  

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:

The MAAC, headquartered in Edison, N.J., consists of 11 member institutions: 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. ANC Sports Enterprises is the league’s marketing consultant and has the exclusive sales rights to the MAAC.  For more on the conference please visit, www.maacsports.com.    

For more information:

Visit us on the web: www.hoophall.com or www.aaarena.com

… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bhof

… on Twitter: @Hoophall

… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA