Sunday, February 09, 2014

With MSG facing scheduling conflict, Barclays Center to host Public School Athletic League basketball finals

An announcement from the Barclays Center:
The renowned PSAL Basketball Championships will come to Barclays Center for the first time on Saturday, March 8. The Division AA girls varsity finals game starts at noon and the AA boys varsity game starts at 2 p.m. Teams will be announced after the AA semifinal games on March 4.
Tickets for the PSAL Championships go on sale beginning Friday, February 14 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets will also be available at the American Express® Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Saturday, February 15 at noon (if still available).

“The PSAL basketball championships are exciting for our students, families, and schools,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa. “Whether in the classroom or on the basketball court, we have incredibly talented students. As a Brooklyn native and current resident, I want to thank Barclays Center for hosting this event.”

“I look forward to seeing our top girls varsity and boys varsity basketball teams compete at Barclays Center,” said Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm. “This is the first time our schools will be playing in this popular arena and I want to thank Barclays Center for making its venue available to the PSAL. I am ready to cheer on our student athletes.”

High school sports at Barclays Center is presented by The Brooklyn Hospital Center.
No financial details have been revealed.

In the press

The Daily News reported 2/5/14, Barclays Center to host PSAL boys and girls basketball championships on March 8:
Now it is official. The city's biggest high school basketball event will be played in the borough most known for hoops.
The PSAL boys and girls 'AA' title games will be played at Barclays Center on March 8, a source told the Daily News on Wednesday morning, hours before the venue put out an official press release. The Brooklyn arena bailed out the city's public basketball league after Madison Square Garden announced last month that it would not host the games for the first time in years because of what it called a scheduling conflict.
So instead of having to play its championships at smaller venues like St. John's or Fordham, the PSAL gets to hold its marquee event on what has become one of the biggest stages in sports.
....The girls final will be played at noon and the boys final will tip off at 2 p.m.
According to a source, the deal between the two sides is for one year only at this point.
Tickets will go on sale on 2/14/14.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle offered a Markowitzian quote from Borough President Eric Adams:
“Brooklyn’s home court has come to the rescue for our public school athletes, and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” added Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Along with providing our public school students with the chance to enjoy healthy physical activity, the PSAL athletic program teaches our kids about discipline, fair play and teamwork. Plus, their annual basketball title games will give Brooklyn’s—and all of New York City’s—public school athletes the chance to play in an NBA arena, an opportunity for our youth to feel like the champions we know they are. Barclays Center has stepped up to be a “champion” to our young champions.”
Coaches weigh in

It will be a very different day for Murry Bergtraum girls coach Ed Grezinsky should his Lady Blazers reach another city final. Grezinsky has won the last 15 city championships, all at the Garden.
Because of that, Grezinsky says he’s a little biased toward what’s called the “Mecca of basketball.” But last month Grezinsky was a big proponent of trying to secure the Brooklyn Nets’ home arena as the new venue once playing at the Garden became unfeasible.
“It’s a big-time arena, a professional arena,” Grezinsky said of Barclays on Thursday. “I think that’s where the kids should be playing. . . .It’s a beautiful arena. It’s modern, state of the art. It’s professional, very impressive.”
Longtime Cardozo boys coach Ron Naclerio, who won a title at MSG in 1999 and reached the final there in 2004 and 2010, is glad to have a professional venue host the championships. He did acknowledge the downside of having the Barclays Center host the game on March 8 — a condensed PSAL playoff schedule.
Last season the quarterfinals were played the first weekend of March, the semifinals were the following Sunday and the title games were six days later.
According to the PSAL website, the quarterfinals will take place on Sunday, March 2, with the girls semis two days later and the boys semis three days after the quarters, making the championship games four and three days after the semifinals, respectively.
That's because of scheduling challenges at Barclays, so there's less chance for players to recover from injuries and for coaches to plan for matchups. 

“I would rather have it where they stretched it out and you have time to prepare for each team,” Grezinsky told the Daily News, while Naclerio said it was fine to be at a pro arena.

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