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Organizers want tournament to be a new tradition in Greenville

Ross Norton //December 15, 2022//

Organizers want tournament to be a new tradition in Greenville

Ross Norton //December 15, 2022//

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A college basketball tournament this weekend in Greenville is the first of what organizers hope will become an annual holiday tradition.

Bon Secours Wellness Arena, in partnership with Furman University and VisitGreenvilleSC, has organized the inaugural Greenville Winter Invitational, a multiple-team basketball showcase taking place at The Well on Saturday. The one-day, six-team tournament will feature matchups between the men’s basketball teams from Furman University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, East Carolina University, Stephen F. Austin State University and the University of Richmond.

“Our intention is to make the Greenville Winter Invitational an annual and highly-anticipated event, growing in size and scope,” Beth Paul, general manager of Bon Secours Wellness Arena, said in a news release announcing the event. “We are grateful to partner with Furman University and VisitGreenvilleSC on such a unique opportunity to create an amazing event from the ground up that teams, athletes and fans will look forward to participating in year after year.”

The Greenville Winter Invitational will be a one-session ticketed event. Several ticket options will be available, including all-inclusive courtside and floor seating with access to The Well’s backstage club and all-inclusive Arena bowl seating with access to the Harley Davidson Motor Lounge and Wicked Weed Green Room. Tickets are available online.

The University of South Carolina plays East Carolina at 2 p.m., Furman takes on Stephen F. Austin at 4:30 p.m. and the Clemson team is scheduled to play University of Richmond at 7 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Clemson University Men of Color National Summit and United Way of Greenville County’s OnTrack Greenville program, according to the news release. Clemson University Men of Color National Summit’s mission is to help illuminate pathways to higher education and close the opportunity gap for African American and Latino high school males, and the United Way of Greenville County’s OnTrack program is a school-based community collaboration whose mission is to align and leverage community interventions and resources to keep students on track towards high school graduation and post-secondary success.

“VisitGreenvilleSC is thrilled to partner with Bon Secours Wellness Arena for an exciting new signature basketball event right here in our beautiful city,” Jonathan Brashier, interim CEO and president of VisitGreenvilleSC, said in the release. “We can’t wait to welcome teams and fans for the inaugural year of the Greenville Winter Invitational on December 17th and we look forward to this event growing year after year.”

“The opportunity to collaborate with Bon Secours Wellness Arena and VisitGreenvilleSC to bring the Greenville Winter Invitational to our city continues to strengthen the bond between Furman University and the Greenville community,” Jason Donnelly, Furman University’s athletics director, said in the release. “We could not be more pleased with the field of teams competing and feel this will be a great event for Furman Basketball and college basketball fans across the nation”.

Bon Secours Wellness Arena hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament regionals this year and the venue will host the NCAA Women’s Tournament regionals in 2023. Additionally, the Southeastern Conference signed a three-year contract with The Well to host the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament beginning next year and the first and second rounds of the 2026 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament will take place at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.