LAS VEGAS – An Oregon State team that advanced to last season’s Final Four and local favorite UNLV will headline the field for the inaugural Play4Kay Shootout benefiting the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, December 19-21, 2016, at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The eight-team women’s tournament features seven teams that won 20+ games last season and supports the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, an organization that supports funding for women’s cancer research. The field and pairings for the tournament were released Thursday by the event’s organizer, bd Global (www.bdglobalsports.com).
“Many thanks to the T-Mobile Arena team for giving us the opportunity to create a premium women’s tournament on the Las Vegas Strip,” said bd Global president Brooks Downing. “Vegas has established itself as the unofficial “capital of basketball” with every level of the sport participating here in the Valley. It’s past time that a premium women’s event be held in this world-class location and we’re proud to partner with the Kay Yow Cancer Fund to make that happen.”
The field for the tournament features:
- Oregon State – Completed a historic 32-5 season with a berth in the 2016 Final Four
- Long Beach State – Return all five starters from a 24-9 team
- New Mexico State – Defending WAC champions and finished 26-5 with an 2016 NCAA Tournament berth
- Oklahoma State – Finished 21-10 with an 2016 NCAA Tournament appearance
- Quinnipiac – Won the 2016 MAAC regular season title finishing at 25-9 for the year
- Santa Clara – Return all five starters from a 23-9 campaign last season
- South Florida – Advanced to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament finishing at 24-10
- UNLV – Return the bulk of the team following last season’s 18-win campaign
Debbie Antonelli, an ESPN television analyst who will serve as the Tournament Director, said, “Having played for Coach Yow at NC State, I am so excited to be a part of the Play4Kay Tournament as we feature the best of women’s basketball in a destination location like Las Vegas. This tournament has it all with a tremendous field of teams – four NCAA Tournament teams in just its first year. More importantly, the event will contribute to a great cause as our sport continues to combat this dreaded disease. ”
The schedule for the opening round of the women’s tournament on Monday, Dec. 19 is as follows:
- 12:30 p.m. PT – South Florida vs. Long Beach State
- 3:00 p.m. PT – New Mexico State vs. Quinnipiac
- 5:30 p.m. PT – Oklahoma State vs. Santa Clara
- 8:00 p.m. PT – UNLV vs. Oregon State
Consolation games will be played Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 12:30 p.m./3:00 p.m. followed by the semifinals at 5:30 p.m./8:00 p.m. Wednesday’s championship game will be at 8:00 p.m. PT.
The tournament promotes the Play4Kay initiative, a grassroots fundraising campaign for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Play4Kay’s primary fundraising support comes from women’s basketball teams across the country that dedicate games throughout the season to raise funds and awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The charity was founded in 2007 from the vision of the organization’s namesake Kay Yow, a former N.C. State head women’s basketball coach who endured three bouts with breast cancer. Despite the disease, she coached for 38 years, recording more than 700 wins, making 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 trips to the Sweet 16 and a Final Four berth in 1998. In 1988, she coached the United States to an Olympic gold medal. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on January 24, 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund has since raised more than $5.28 million for women’s cancer research and to assist the underserved. For her achievements on and off the court, Coach Yow is enshrined in both the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Kay Yow Cancer Fund Executive Director Stephanie Glance said, “The 2016 Play4Kay fundraising initiative is a testament to the commitment the women’s basketball community has for the mission of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Coach Yow’s vision for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the Play4Kay fundraising initiative was to unite a nation of coaches and the women’s basketball community across the country, to do something collectively for the greater good, that far exceeds wins and losses on the court.”
For complete information, visit www.play4kayhoops.com or follow on Twitter at @NeonHoops.