Ontario University Athletics will use a new format for its Wilson Cup men’s basketball championship.
The top East and West teams will now play in a Final Four style to determine OUA’s newest champion. This year’s Wilson Cup Final Four will be hosted at McMaster University at the Burridge Gymnasium on March 4-5.
OUA men’s basketball playoffs start on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and by the evening of Saturday, Feb. 26 the top four teams in OUA will have punched their ticket for Hamilton and the OUA Wilson Cup Final Four.
“OUA is excited about the new format for the Wilson Cup. Inviting all four teams to a neutral site allows this sport to grow in a strong basketball community like Hamilton,” said Ward Dilse, executive Director of Ontario University Athletics.
For the first time since 2004, the semifinals and championship game will be nationally televised. On March 4, the first semifinal will air live on The Score at 6 p.m. The second semifinal will be played at 8 p.m. and will air taped delayed at 10 p.m. The finals will also be live on The Score at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 as Ontario’s top two teams play to determine who will take home the championship banner.
“Our continued partnership with The Score to nationally televise the semifinals and finals will broaden the spectrum of viewers from around the country exposing all of Canada to the exceptional talent of OUA’s student-athletes,” added Dilse.
Tickets are available for individual days at a price of $10 for adults and $5 for youth and students. A tournament pass is available for $20 and it includes all three games and parking. Tickets for the Wilson Cup Final Four men’s basketball championship can be purchased by phone at 905-525-9140 ext. 20353, online at http://www.athrec.mcmaster.ca/pos/, or in person at McMaster University’s Maroon Shop in the David Braley Athletic Centre. Adult tickets can also be purchased at all Hamilton area Pioneer Petroleums locations with $2 per ticket returned to the buyer in Pioneer Bonus Bucks.
The Wilson Cup Final Four weekend is much more than a championship, as a number of events and activities are planned in the city of Hamilton that weekend.
“Tourism Hamilton is proud to partner with OUA and McMaster University Athletics and we look forward to welcoming the teams, officials, spectators and media to Hamilton for the OUA Wilson Cup Final Four,” said David Adames, Executive Director, Tourism Hamilton.
On Friday, March 4, OUA will hold an awards breakfast to honour the 2010-11 season’s major award winners, OUA All-Stars and the four participating teams at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre, the host hotel for the Wilson Cup Final Four.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) and OUA will be running the inaugural Wilson Cup Mega Hoops Mania basketball skills clinic at McMaster University. Mega Hoops Mania is an inclusive basketball clinic for children and youth in grades 3 to 8 with the objective of teaching basketball skills in an enjoyable environment. Mega Hoops was designed to engage all participants, irrespective of their gender, background or ability.
This three-hour skill session will be taught by OUA men’s basketball All-Stars and participants will be led through progressive activities as they learn the proper execution of six basic fundamentals: shooting, dribbling, passing, rebounding, movement and lay ups.
Registration is $10 can be done through OBA’s website at www.basketball.on.ca. Participants will receive a complimentary ticket to watch the Wilson Cup Championship game.
From 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, Dairy Farmers of Canada presents the Wilson Cup Final Four Celebrity 2-Ball tournament. OUA All-Stars will team up with local sports and media celebrities as they show off their skills in support of Athletes for Africa. This unique basketball skills game is played by a two-player team. Each team has one minute to score as many baskets as possible from any of the designated shooting spots clearly identified on a half court. Each shooting spot is worth a different point value based on the difficulty of the basket. The two-player team with the most points is declared the winner and will return to the court to play during half time of the OUA Wilson Cup Men’s Basketball Championship.
“This is exactly the kind of partnership we envisioned for Athletes for Africa when we launched just over five years ago,” said Adrian Bradbury, Founder and Executive Director, Athletes for Africa. “The OUA and the student-athletes that represent this province truly are our next generation of leaders. They can be champions of global citizenship that can make an impact with their platform, through sport, to raise awareness and funds to empower youth in Africa.”
Athletes for Africa is a charitable organization that uses the power of sport to educate and engage Canadians in Africa’s fight against poverty, famine and disease. The 2-Ball tournament is open to the public, and donations will be accepted at the door to support Athletes for Africa.
All events planned for the March 4-5 weekend lead up to what will be the best of OUA basketball, culminating in the presentation of the Wilson Cup live on The Score.
For full details on all events surrounding the OUA Wilson Cup Final Four men’s basketball championship please visit www.oua.ca/wilsoncup.