We’re in the middle of the MHSAA Girls Basketball Semifinals at Michigan State University’s Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Next weekend at the Breslin Center, the Boys Basketball Finals will conclude six weeks of winter tournaments for six girls and six boys sports.
We could not be more pleased that mid-Michigan, MSU and our state’s finest large basketball arena will be hosting the Girls and Boys Basketball Semifinals and Finals for at least the next six years. Credit MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis for making this happen, although he will quickly deflect credit to MSU President Simon and many other people within the university and greater community.
In recent years we’ve made efforts to increase family fun and fan interaction during the basketball tournament weekends. For example:
- With the help of the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan, the Top Shooters Challenge – three-point and free throw shooting competitions for high school players (girls this weekend, boys next weekend).
- With the great imagination and energy of the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau and its Greater Lansing Sports Authority, the March Magic Hoopfest – an interactivity basketball experience for almost all ages.
This year our websites and FoxSportsDetroit.com have combined to provide unprecedented coverage of MHSAA tournaments. On MHSAA.com we’ve had fun with a basketball “Buzzer-Beaters” contest, and we provided brackets for the Girls and Boys Basketball Tournaments that are beyond anything we’ve seen elsewhere. We will have live tweets from the Breslin Center throughout this weekend and next.
It remains our belief that the passion and performance of the competition between the white lines of the Breslin Center basketball court must be the primary focus of these tournaments, but we do want to increase the interest and enhance the enjoyment of spectators.
Educational athletics continue to have a unique niche in the world of sports and entertainment that we must do our best to both protect and promote. The challenge of doing so is difficult because of the influences of other programs, and the challenge is different than it was only a few years ago because of changes in electronic media. But it’s a challenge that we will endeavor to meet.