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IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament Returns to State Farm Center

 

Champaign, IL—Following a successful tournament in 2023 with over 40,000 fans in attendance, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Boys State Basketball Tournament will return to the State Farm Center in Champaign, March 7–9. Sixteen teams representing four classes will compete across sixteen games over three action-packed days of basketball.

     “Heading into our third year of hosting the tournament, we continue to see excitement grow in the community and across the state,” exclaims Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Experience Champaign-Urbana. “With contributions from our community supporters, the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, and the State Farm Center, we are able to provide these student-athletes, their families, and their fans with memories that will last a lifetime.”

     The tournament will kick off on Thursday, March 7 with the 1A semi-finals at 9:30 a.m. and the second game starting 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The 2A semi-finals beginning at 2:00 p.m. with the second game starting 30 minutes later. The same schedule will be followed on Friday for 3A and 4A games. The Championship games will all be held on Saturday, March 11 starting at 11:00 a.m.

Teams competing include:

Class 1A: Meridian High School, Chicago Hope Academy, Aurora Christian School, Winchester High School

Class 2A: Phillips Academy High School, Williamsville High School, Benton High School, Byron High School

Class 3A: Mt. Carmel High School, Mt. Zion High School, DePaul College Prep, Richwoods High School

Class 4A: Normal Community High School, Palatine High School, New Trier High School, Homewood-Flossmoor High School

The complete schedule is available at https://legendsplayhere.com/ihsa-boys-basketball/.

     In addition to the Boys State Basketball Tournament, the IHSA-Special Olympics of Illinois (SOILL) Unified Basketball State Tournament and the IHSA Wheelchair Basketball State Championships will take place at the Activities & Recreation Center (ARC) on the University of Illinois campus. The Unified Basketball tournament will be held Friday, March 8, starting at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 10, starting at 8:30 a.m. The Wheelchair Basketball tournament will be held on Saturday, March 10, starting at 9:30 a.m. with five teams competing. These games are free and open to the public.

     “We’re prepared to welcome the best athletes in the state to Illinois’ top basketball arena,” explains Mark Brown, Director of Sports, Events, and Film for Experience Champaign-Urbana. “We ensure these student athletes, coaches, and fans have a brilliant experience the moment the come into town. From police escorts to the arena, to community hosts that will be their dedicated guide, teams will experience the hospitality our community is known for before they even take to the courts.”

     In addition to the nail-biting competition, fans will be treated to several amenities throughout the State Farm Center. For the kids in attendance, they can take part in various activities at the ChambanaMoms.com All Star Zone, located in the Traditions Club. Among the planned activities, you’ll find face-painting with Wild Style Design Company, caricatures by Dan Wild, Illini eSports Club with gaming laptops, an interactive basketball experience with Dick’s House of Sport, button-making, life-size games, and photo opportunities.

     There is no additional fee for any of the events beyond the cost of admission to the tournament.

     “Based on past attendance, we anticipate that the tournament will provide over $4 million in economic impact to the community,” explains Brown. “From accommodations to dining and shopping to the many services being provided to create a hospitable environment, the tournament will support our local businesses, supporting our frontline hospitality staff, and generating local tax dollars to be re-invested in our communities.”

     Tickets are available for purchase for single sessions or a for a season pass for 1A/2A or 3A/4A games at statefarmcenter.com or by calling 866-ILLINI-1. Details on the tournament and all surrounding activities can be found at legendsplayhere.com/ihsa-boys-basketball.

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