The Black Knights join Manhattan, Northeastern, and Princeton, in the tournament which takes place from 24 to 26 November
The Copper Box in London will host the Army Black Knights after they were confirmed as the fourth participant in the inaugural London Basketball Classic. The event, which takes place during the November FIBA women’s window, we’ll get back to that, will also feature Manhattan and Northeastern (MAAC) and Princeton (Ivy) in the straight knockout tournament.
The event is a week after the Dublin event, also run by Inspirus Sports, which takes place at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
“It is an absolute honour to announce Army West Point as the fourth and final team for our first ever London Basketball Classic. Our event, taking place at the Copper Box Arena — home of the BBL London Lions, will feature four fantastic, NCAA Division I teams. We hope to celebrate Thanksgiving in style with the support of the great British basketball fans on 24 and 26 November,” said Marc Mulholland, executive director of the London Basketball Classic, Inspirus Sports
The Black Knights (Patriot) will face Princeton on Thursday 24 November while Manhattan and Northeastern will do battle in an all-MAAC affair in the other semi-final. Sunday will see the two winners pair off in the final with the losing semi-finalists playing for third place in the preceding game.
“The London Classic is a tremendous opportunity for our program on many levels. It will give our players the unique experience of interacting with the community as well as an opportunity to enjoy the culture and sights. On the court, it will be a chance to compete against top programs from three great conferences in the Northeast that will help prepare us for Patriot League play. We are extremely excited about this experience and appreciate the opportunity,” said Jimmy Allen, Army men’s basketball head coach.
The London Basketball Classic provides an opportunity for Inspirus Sports to highlight its sister company Inspirus Global Education which specialises in international student recruitment on a global scale.
“Inspirus Sports and Inspirus Global Education was founded off the back of a mission, set out by our Sport Changes Life Foundation, that helps inspire and build the aspirations of young people through sport and education,” said Gareth Maguire, chairman and founder of Inspirus Sports and Inspirus Global Education.
“We have always been focused on working with the best of the best and adding Army to our network of schools shows that once again we have found partners who understand our mission to help inspire student-athletes to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. I am so excited to see the fans and young people attending these games be inspired for years to come.”
In normal circumstances I would curse the timing of this event as clashing with a FIBA window is a giant red flag for someone who covers Ireland national team games in person as often as humanly possible. These, however, are not normal circumstances as the Ireland women’s team’s away game to Belarus on 24 November has been cancelled due to Belarus being expelled from the competition.
This means that I, and other Irish hoop addicts, can both make the jaunt to London and get back in time for the women’s home game with Netherlands on Sunday 27 November. The only set of supporters left in a bit of a fix are those travelling to Great Britain women’s games in Greece and Portugal…but I get the distinct impression that anyone making that trip is keen to avoid London weather in late November.
It promises to be an interesting weekend of action.