NAIA Basketball Classic returns to the Hub City

JACKSON, Tenn. — An annual basketball tournament is back in the Hub City.

“We had the national championship here in Jackson for 22 years, and the coaches grew to love Jackson and love the support, so they wanted to give back to the community and keep coming,” said Marybeth Hoppers, the event coordinator for the NAIA Basketball Classic.

The Oman Arena is hosting exhibition games for 10 of the top 16 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams.

“We got some great teams here playing ball, and this is an opportunity for these teams to play each other and see each other play before the national championships,” Hoppers said.

A major goal for the NAIA is building champions of character.

Teens from local high school basketball teams are attending the tournament to see how opponents showcase teamwork and leadership skills.

“That gives them the opportunity to see how these girls play, work together, teamwork and build their character as well,” Hoppers explained.

Organizers say the classic has been a part of the Jackson community for over 10 years and helps teams prepare for the national championship in the spring.

“We still love NAIA. It was a huge part of Jackson for many many years so we just want people to come out and cheer these girls on,” Hoppers said.

The tournament will be ending Saturday, with the first game at noon and the last game at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the basketball classic are just $10.

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