CIAA partners with Big Apple Classic

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: November 20, 2010

HAMPTON, Va. — The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has announced a partnership with the Big Apple Classic to institute a relationship that strengthens both organizations’ efforts to promote education, great basketball rivalries, rich traditions, fun-filled family events and world-class social activities. The CIAA has been connected to the Big Apple Classic since its birth in 2006, which yearly features four top basketball teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities along with other official events and activities surrounding the two-day tournament. This year’s classic will begin on December 3 with a kick-off party and continue on December 4 with rivalries games between CIAA schools Virginia State University and Virginia Union University and the battle of the HUs — MEAC schools Hampton University and Howard University at the famous Madison Square Garden. “The CIAA is honored to be a part of the Big Apple Classic year-after-year,” stated CIAA Commissioner, Leon Kerry.

“This exciting tournament not only generates exposure for our school’s athletic programs, but it allows the CIAA to reach local high school students and provide them with information on furthering their education at our member institutions.” “This partnership works because the CIAA and the Big Apple Classic share the same commitment to education, family and athletics.” The BAC, which is the only Black college basketball tournament at the world famous Madison Square Garden, celebrates its fifth anniversary on December 4, bringing heart pounding basketball battles, electrifying drumlines and other memorable traditions of southern black colleges to the tri-state area. “We’re proud to continue our partnership with the CIAA and reach a milestone in bringing the HBCU experience to Madison Square Garden,” said Ken Johnson, President of Johnson, Inc., the marketing firm that produces the Big Apple Classic. “The Big Apple Classic provides a unique opportunity to expose tri-state students to some of the time-honored elements of the HBCU experience. The event also provides HBCU alumni with an opportunity to connect with their classmates in one of the world’s most legendary venues.” Thousands of alumni, students, celebrity guests and other basketball fans are expected at what has become one of the most highly anticipated family and social events of the year. Other highlights include an essay contest for high school students, a college fair showcasing more than 25 HBCUs, a Miss Big Apple Classic contest, a drumline competition that will get fans hyped and on their feet, and a halftime musical performance featuring a nationally-known recording artist. BAC tickets are $29.50 and $54.50, with discounts for groups of 20 or more and for members of the military. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Big Apple Classic’s new partner, Every Child USA. Every Child USA is an initiative designed for Every American to participate in raising awareness and funds to ensure that every child in the USA can read and has access to health care.

The campaign is supported by celebrity ambassadors that include Jamie Foxx and Shaquille O’Neal. NOTE: For tickets or more information about the BAC weekend, visit

You can also purchase tickets by visiting or by visiting the box office at Madison Square Garden. For more information on Every Child USA, visit