Holiday Basketball Classic to Feature Four AG Schools
The four largest Assemblies of God universities are coming together to take part in an inaugural Holiday Men’s Basketball Classic to be held this year at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas, in a live-streamed event, Dec. 17 and 18.
Believed to be the first time that the Evangel University (Springfield, Missouri), Southeastern University (Lakeland, Florida), Vanguard University (La Mesa, California) and SAGU men’s basketball teams have ever been under the same roof to compete against each other, all the teams are NAIA Div. I, with the exception of Southeastern (SEU), which is NAIA Div. II.
According to John Cookman, director of Media at SAGU, these Assemblies of God university teams bring quality basketball to the court. “All three of the NAIA Division I schools have been to the NAIA National championship tournament at least three of the last four years,” he says. “That these three schools have also been continually ranked in the top 16 NAIA teams over the last four years is pretty incredible.” Vanguard captured the Div. I national championship in 2014. NAIA 2014-15 Div. II polls reveal that SEU was ranked in the top 25 last season for a time.
The Holiday Classic games will begin Thursday, Dec. 17, with Evangel vs. SEU at 5:30 p.m. (CT) followed by SAGU facing Vanguard at 7:30. The classic continues on Friday, Dec. 18, in a battle of the coasts as SEU plays Vanguard at 5:30 p.m. (CT) with Evangel and SAGU closing out the classic with their game at 7:30. The classic is slated to be held at a different host school each of the next three years.
Cookman says that fans will not be disappointed with the online streaming of the games, available free of charge. “The SAGU Sports Network has been broadcasting for six years,” he says. “We have been awarded ‘Best Sports Broadcast’ in the NAIA. You will feel like you’re watching ESPN.”
To watch any or all of the games live online, watch it at SAGUtv beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17.