Holiday Hoopsgiving 2020 announced that Pit Boss Grills, one of the fastest-growing grill brands in the industry, has signed on as the Title Sponsor for the inaugural premier men’s college basketball event hosted by the VII Group at the award-winning State Farm Arena in Atlanta, home of the NBA Atlanta Hawks, on Dec. 6 and 12.

Academy Sports + Outdoors, leading full-line sporting goods and outdoor recreation retailer, has signed on as presenting sponsor for the event, which will feature five college neutral-court games with some of the nation’s top collegiate basketball programs.

“We are elated to have Pit Boss Grills and Academy Sports + Outdoors join the Holiday Hoopsgiving family,” said Chris Williams, owner of The VII Group. “We have similar foundations and visions for the communities we are passionate about.  Their support for our inaugural year of the collegiate portion of the event means so much to us.”  

Holiday Hoopsgiving will be televised live on ESPN Networks. A portion of proceeds from the event, including sponsorships, will help support the non-profit organization Play for Orange, whose mission is to provide leukemia research support to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“The entire Pit Boss team is blessed to take the court as the title sponsor of Holiday Hoopsgiving,” said Jeff Thiessen, President of Dansons. Pit Boss Grills is a subsidiary of Dansons, a global consumer goods company. “Not only are we eager for first-class basketball from some of the country’s most elite programs, but we are also thrilled to partner with the tournament’s philanthropic efforts and help support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“Giving back to those in need is integral to our company’s mission, so having the ability to do so while also introducing a new audience to Pit Boss Nation was a slam dunk opportunity,” Thiessen added. 

On Sunday, Dec. 6, Pit Boss Grills Holiday Hoopsgiving presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will tip-off with ​Georgia Tech​ vs. ​Kentucky​. On Saturday, Dec. 12, there will be a quadruple-header including ​Clemson ​vs. ​Alabama​, Mississippi​ ​State​ vs. ​Dayton,​ LSU​ vs. ​South Florida​, and ​Auburn vs. Memphis. ​

Three of the participating teams finished in the AP Top 25 rankings (Dayton, Kentucky, Auburn). Dayton is coming off a great year with Obi Toppin awarded National Player of the Year and Anthony Grant Coach of the Year for both Naismith and Associated Press (AP). Kentucky, Auburn, and LSU also bring a strong presence with top tier star-studded recruiting classes for 2020.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only limited friends and family will be allowed to attend Hoopsgiving 2020, however, fans can still have a “virtual” presence by purchasing cutouts that will be in the stands during gameplay. The popular trend in COVID-era sports lets would-be attendees submit personal photos that become 2-dimensional seat-fillers within the venue.

Pricing starts at $70 and purchasers will have the option of placement around the arena bowl or courtside.  Along with personalized cutouts, fans can also purchase Hoopsgiving t-shirts in the school colors of their favorite competing team.  Fans can go to http://theviigroup.net/ for more information.

“Holiday Hoopsgiving is an exciting opportunity to bring some of the top collegiate basketball programs to the city of Atlanta,” said Trey Feazell, executive vice president of arena programming for State Farm Arena.  “We look forward to a great event that will highlight some phenomenal young talent.” 

As part of the first weekend of the event, there will be a high school showcase along with charitable events benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

 

GAME SCHEDULE:

Sun. Dec. 6

  • 5 p.m.     Kentucky vs. GA Tech

Sat. Dec. 12

  • 12 noon     Miss State vs. Dayton
  • 2:30 p.m.*     LSU vs. South Fla
  • 7 p.m.      Clemson vs. Alabama
  • 9 p.m.*    Memphis vs. Auburn

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