Knights, Badgers tip off for United Way


Niagara College President Dan Patterson (left), and Brock President Jack Lightstone are ready for this year's Peninsula Hoop Classic benefitting United Way, set for Sept. 27.

The Niagara College Knights and Brock University Badgers men’s and women’s basketball teams will hit the hardcourt Sept. 27 in support of the United Way.

The games are part of the fifth annual Peninsula Hoop Classic, which brings the region’s two post-secondary institutions together to benefit a key community organization.

“The Peninsula Hoop Classic is a fantastic way to kick off the post-secondary athletics season as the event showcases the premier basketball talent in the Niagara region” said Matthew Davies, Niagara College’s director of athletics and recreation and the co-chair of the Niagara College United Way campaign. “Niagara College has set the goal of raising $40,000 for the United Way, and the Hoop Classic will serve as the tip-off event for our 2014 fundraising events.”

“Niagara College and Brock University have worked together over the past five years not only to continue to build on the great relationship we already have, but to continue to help out with the United Way campaign,” said Brock University interim director of athletics Chris Critelli. “The Peninsula Hoop Classic provides a great opportunity through sport, to raise awareness and funds for the Niagara region.”

This year’s event will see more than bragging rights amongst the players on the line as Niagara College’s president Dan Patterson and Brock University president Jack Lightstone have entered into a friendly wager on the outcome. The bet will see the president of the losing school wear the jersey of the winning team to a board meeting.

“I think friendly rivalries always celebrate the relationship between two institutions,” Lightstone said. “In this case, it’s for a very good cause and also to have some fun along the way.”

Patterson called the event a “worthy cause” that brings together Niagara’s post-secondary schools.

“The idea that post-secondary education supports United Way in a big way is so important to us,” Patterson said. “To have both institutions get together in a fun-like, sports-like event brings a lot of attention to the importance of Unites Way, and that’s really good.”

The Peninsula Hoop Classic alternates between venues, and will be held this year at Niagara College’s Welland Campus Athletic Centre. The women’s teams will tip off at 6 p.m., with the men’s game scheduled for an 8 p.m. start. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5. All current NC and Brock students and those under the age of 17 will be admitted for free. Throughout the evening donations will be accepted in support of the United Way. Parking is free for this event.

As host of this year’s game, Niagara College invites the community to enjoy complimentary refreshments, and meet students and staff prior to tip off. Doors will open at 5 p.m.

The Peninsula Hoop Classic originated in 2010, and was the first game played in Niagara College’s Welland Campus Athletic Centre. While the United Way has been the biggest winner in the five-year history of the Hoop Classic, Brock has so far held the edge on the scoreboard sporting an overall record of 7-1. In 2012, the last time Niagara College hosted the event, the Knights men’s basketball program captured a 78-71 victory over the Badgers.

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