Belfast Classic

Posted By: MatthieuSt.Amour
Posted On: December 5th, 2017
Attending: Limerick Institute of Technology

This past weekend, all of the Victory Scholars got to help make history. For the first time ever, an American college basketball tournament was hosted in Ireland/Northern Ireland. It also brought over CBSSports for the first time. This was a historic event that was organized by Sport Changes Life. It was a massive project that the organization had been working on for over seven years or so. It was well worth the wait!

The event brought over four schools, Manhattan, Towson, LaSalle, and Holy Cross. It was a two day tournament on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the opening games were Manhattan vs. Holy Cross and LaSalle vs. Towson. Then on Saturday, the two winners played in a championship game and the two losers played in a consolation game. There were four quality games, wrapped up by the championship game, which was the game of the weekend. Towson beat Manhattan by 1 point on a go ahead jump shot with 1.5 seconds left in the game. It was the perfect end to a historic and monumental weekend. The tournament had a two-day attendance of just under 10,000. Going forward, SCL is going to continue to grow the tournament and have 8 teams next year. It is a great event in continuing to grow the sport of basketball throughout Ireland.

I was fortunate to be able to attend for the whole event, getting there on Wednesday and leaving Sunday. Many of the scholars were only able to make it up to Belfast for Friday and Saturday because of their schedules. Since I got there so early, I was assigned to be a team liaison. This meant that I was with a team for every step of the way. Luckily for me, I was assigned to Towson. Teams are generally a lot happier and easy to deal with when they win, so that worked out well for me. It was amazing to spend so much time with the team and follow them through their game day routines. It reminded me of my college away games, except without having to worry about how much sleep I get, what I eat, and all of the extra pressure. I got to enjoy all of their team meals, shootarounds, and practices, along with their community service event where they visited a local school. It was awesome to meet a bunch of the guys on the team and the coaching staff and observe how they work and prepare. I really enjoyed my weekend with the Towson team.

I was so impressed with the event and all of the work that SCL put into it. It was run so smoothly with very little problems. It was an amazing time and I know all of the scholars were so happy to be a part of it!

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