The Bartlesville Sports Commission has hosted the Great American Conference Men and Women’s Basketball Championships since the conference was formed in 2011. This will be the fifth year for the BSC to host this very competitive championship at the Bruin Fieldhouse.
The festivities will begin on Wednesday, March 2nd with the annual GAC Awards Banquet held in the Phillips 66 auditorium. All 16 teams will be present with the top achievers for the year recognized for their achievements.
The Men’s Quarterfinals will be played on Thursday with two games in the afternoon session and two games in the evening session. While the men are playing their games on Thursday the women’s teams will be at Red Apple Bowling Alley bowling with special education kids from local schools. This community project has become one of the most popular events of the week; these kids truly look forward to “bowling with the girls” all year long.
On Friday the four Women’s Quarterfinal games will be played at Bruin Fieldhouse. While the women are playing the men’s teams will visit eight local elementary schools and have the opportunity to visit with young boys and girls about staying in school, playing sports and being good students. This community project has become tradition and is always a huge hit with the young students and is also a rewarding experience for the GAC student athletes.
During the evening session on Friday the fans will be in for a real treat as Rumble, the renowned mascot of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be entertaining young and old alike with all of his antics during pregame, timeouts, halftime and between games. This will be the fifth year for Rumble to attend the tournament and we are excited to have him back!
Each of the 16 teams that participates in the tournament is “adopted” by a local business, group, or family. These host groups greet the teams upon arrival, give them a small gift and support their team during the Championship.
This year there will be two Bartlesville High School graduates playing in the tournament. Nick Shoemaker is a sophomore playing for the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Bulldogs and Hailey Tucker is a freshman playing for the Lady SWOSU Dawgs. Both of these young players had outstanding high school careers and will have many local fans anxious to see them in action again.
The BSC is looking forward to hosting these Championships the first weekend in March and we encourage everyone to come out to watch some great basketball. Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help the BSC out during the tournament we would love to have you. Please click on the volunteer button to sign up and if you have any questions please email Karen Befort at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the tournament!