Inspirus Sports Management in partnership with The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) announced the participating institutions for the 2022 MAAC/ASUN Dublin Basketball Challenge presented by Inspirus Sports.
Division I Collegiate Basketball will be making its way to the heart of Dublin, Ireland. The field of eight will be comprised of two men’s teams and two women’s teams from each conference. Representing the MAAC for the men will be Niagara University and Rider University. Highlighting the women’s side for the MAAC will be Marist College and Rider University. ASUN teams will include the University of Central Arkansas and Stetson University on the men’s end and the University North Florida and Eastern Kentucky University for the women.
The 2022 MAAC/ASUN Dublin Basketball Challenge presented by Inspirus Sports, will be held inside, the home of Basketball in Ireland, Basketball Ireland’s National Basketball Arena in Dublin, Ireland on November 18th and 19th.
Gareth Maguire, Chairman and Founder of Inspirus Sports & CEO of Sport Changes Life Foundation said:
“A lot of people have worked extremely hard to help make this exciting event happen. We have a great history of working with Rich Ensor, the MAAC conference and their teams here in Ireland. We are extremely thankful for their partnership and we give a huge Irish welcome to Ted Gumbart and the ASUN Conference teams this November. Bringing these great teams to Dublin is yet another stepping stone in our journey as we continue to change lives and build aspirations through sport and education.”
Gareth Maguire,Chairman and Founder of Inspirus Sports & CEO of Sport Changes Life Foundation
Rich Ensor, MAAC Commissioner commented:
“The MAAC/ASUN Dublin Basketball Challenge presented by Inspirus Sports will be a great opportunity for the MAAC, ASUN, and our competing institutions to expand our brands to an international audience. Inspirus Sports has shown a track record of success with its Sport Changes Life Foundation, assisting with enrollment for former American student-athletes, and the successful Belfast Invitationals in 2017 and 2018. I want to thank Gareth Maguire and his team at Inspirus Sports for our continued partnership and we look forward to showcasing collegiate basketball to the fans in Dublin.”
Rich Ensor, MAAC Commissioner
Ted Gumbart, ASUN Commissioner is proud of the move:
"We are pleased and proud to partner with Inspirus Sports and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in bringing this ASUN-MAAC Challenge to Ireland. We know it will be a super experience for the student athletes from all the participating teams and a meaningful basketball experience for the Irish fans. We hope that it will be a huge success and something we can build on to bring basketball from the ASUN to Ireland for many years. We want to especially thank Gareth Maguire, Scott McCarthy and Marc Mulholland from Inspirus Sports along with the staff of Sport Changes Life Foundation for their interest and support of college basketball and the ASUN."
Ted Gumbart, ASUN Commissioner
Scott McCarthy, CEO of Inspirus Sports:
“It is an exciting time for us all, as we announce these great MAAC and ASUN teams coming to the home of basketball in Ireland at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland this November. America and Ireland have shared a fantastic history with the sport of basketball and we are excited to continue to nurture that relationship as we reconnect the world through sport, education and business hosting our American friends once again.”
Scott McCarthy, CEO of Inspirus Sports
Marc Mulholland, Executive Director, Inspirus Sports added:
“Cead Mile Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes) to both the MAAC and ASUN great group of teams, their families and fans as they join us for our exciting event in Dublin, this November. The MAAC coaches are no strangers to our Irish hospitality, as they return after making a great impact with the MAAC Clinics in 2017 and 2018, in partnership with the Sport Changes Life Foundation, helping develop basketball in Ireland, through the legacy of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic. We are excited to build on that legacy, bringing both men’s and women’s Division I Collegiate Basketball to the island of Ireland.”
Marc Mulholland, Executive Director, Inspirus Sports
Matchups, tip times, and broadcasting networks will be announced at a later date.
The coaches of the participating teams have also been having their say in the wake of the announcement.
First up is Greg Paulus, Niagara Men’s Basketball Head Coach:
“We are excited to be a part of the MAAC/ASUN Challenge in Dublin, Ireland. We want to give our student-athletes a first-class experience on and off the court and this is a terrific opportunity for our university, program and student-athletes.”
Kevin Baggett, Rider University Men’s Basketball Head Coach is excited about the cultural experience for his players:
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to compete in the MAAC/ASUN Challenge in Ireland next season. Our program strives to provide the platform for our student-athletes to gain positive and formative experiences on and off the basketball court and this trip will no doubt give our players an outstanding cultural experience with some great competition on the court.”
Brian Giorgis, Marist College Women’s Basketball Head Coach is looking forward to the competition his team will face:
“We are thrilled to take part in the MAAC/ASUN Dublin Challenge in November. It's a tremendous opportunity for our program to compete in Dublin, and it will be a great experience from both cultural and competitive standpoints. The city is a great hub for our College's Study Abroad program and host to our Freshman Dublin Experience. We greatly appreciate the work done by the MAAC, Atlantic Sun, and Inspirus Sports for putting an outstanding event together.”
Lynn Milligan, Rider University Women’s Basketball Head Coach thinks her side will gain lifelong memories:
“We are thrilled to have been asked to represent the MAAC in this prestigious tournament. The MAAC/ASUN Challenge is a chance for our program to not only compete versus top notch talent but create lifelong memories at the same time in Dublin. We are grateful to the MAAC, ASUN and Inspirus Sports for their tireless efforts in creating this amazing opportunity. We can't wait!”
"Incredible opportunity and experience for our players to compete and share in the Ireland culture."
Anthony Boone, University of Central Arkansas Head Men's Basketball Coach commented:
"I am very excited that we were chosen to represent the ASUN in this challenge. It is a great opportunity for UCA and for our guys, and we are all looking forward to the chance to experience being in Ireland."
Darrick Gibbs, University of North Florida Head Women's Basketball Coach said:
“We are excited to be a part of the MAAC/ASUN Challenge in Dublin. This will be an amazing opportunity to compete while creating lifelong memories for everyone involved. We are thankful for all the work done by the MAAC, ASUN and Inspirus Sports for putting together this event and allowing us to be a part of it.”
Eastern Kentucky University Head Women's Basketball Coach Greg Todd says his players will be traveling to Europe for the first time:
"I am extremely excited to take our team to Ireland and represent the ASUN against two very competitive MAAC programs, Marist and Rider. It will be the first time for almost all of our players and coaches to travel to Europe. We will look forward to learning part of the Ireland culture and traditions during our travels there."