The Brock Badgers are primed to take over Niagara’s largest arena with edge-of-your-seat basketball and an energetic fan experience.
The women’s and men’s basketball teams will host a Paint the Meridian Red doubleheader versus the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Saturday, Jan. 11. The women’s game will tip off at 6 p.m. with the men to follow at 8 p.m.
First-year men’s basketball head coach Willy Manigat said he’s excited to have his team compete on such a large stage.
“It’s important for us to promote the sport of basketball in the Niagara community,” said Manigat. “As I’ve said many times, this region has so much basketball potential and I hope to be a big part of that growth.”
Tickets for the doubleheader are now on sale on Ticketmaster with prices set at $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors, and kids 12 and under. Limited courtside seats are available for $25.
Basketball in the province has exploded to more than 50,000 players, coaches and administrators, according to Ontario Basketball, and Manigat said he anticipates to see the next generation of university basketball players to be in the crowd.
“I remember that for myself it was games like this that made me want to take basketball seriously. The game of basketball is at an all-time high and the great thing is that it continues to grow,” he said. “This upcoming doubleheader will present to younger basketball players of Niagara another opportunity to see that U SPORTS basketball is extremely competitive.”
Brock women’s head coach Mike Rao said this game is a special moment for his players.
“For most young players, playing at the Meridian Centre is a chance of a lifetime,” said Rao. “This is especially true for our local players. The chance to play and shine in front of your family and friends is an awesome experience.”
The women’s team features two Niagara-born newcomers — Sam Keltos of St. Catharines and Destiny Paquin of Welland — who have yet to play at the Meridian Centre, but can’t wait to hit the court.
“I haven’t experienced a game like this before, but I’m very excited for it,” said Keltos, who graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. “Big events like this makes people passionate about the game. It gives people something to look forward to and rallies everyone together to come and support the University.”
For every student ticket sold, $1 will be donated to the Brock University Students’ Union Food First Program, an on-campus food bank supporting undergraduate and graduate students.