Hudson Valley Sports Report

MARIST MEN TO PLAY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Red Foxes Will Participate In Second Annual Belfast Classic

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Marist College men’s basketball program has accepted an offer to participate in the Sport Changes Life Foundation’s second annual Belfast Classic in Northern Ireland, it was officially announced today.

The Red Foxes’ appearance in the tourney, co-sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, had been rumored for weeks.

The tournament will take place at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1.

According to a press release, the field for the 2018 event is includes the University at Albany (America East Conference), University at Buffalo (Mid-American Conference), Dartmouth College (Ivy League), LIU Brooklyn (Northeast Conference), Marist (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Horizon League), University of San Francisco (West Coast Conference) and Stephen F. Austin State University (Southland Conference).

Brackets and exact schedules will be announced at a later date. Organizers said the schools will compete in two four-team brackets, with campus-round games in America leading into two tournament brackets in Belfast.

Richard Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC and co-founder of the Classic, said it’s the perfect way to enhance the conference’s visibility.

“It begins the next stage in expanding the MAAC brand of excellence in academics and athletics to Ireland and the city of Belfast, which so strongly supported the Classic last year,” Ensor said in a statement. “The ability to make a difference in the lives of Belfast’s children with our partner Sports Changes Life makes all the effort worthwhile.”

The Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic was set up to raise awareness of the Sport Changes Life Foundation (SCLF). Established in 2007, Sport Changes Life is dedicated to raising the aspirations of young people using sporting excellence, academic achievement and personal development.

“Being part of the Belfast Classic will be a great cultural experience for our program,” Marist coach John Dunne said in a statement. Dunne is entering his first year with the Red Foxes. “We’re looking forward to being part of a competitive field that has expanded to eight teams this year. I appreciate the work done by the MAAC, Basketball Hall of Fame, and our hosts in Belfast for putting a terrific event together.”

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