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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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New Hoops Tournament Featuring UConn Women to Launch in 2024

  • Iowa, Tennessee, Louisville, and UConn will participate in the inaugural Women’s Champions Classic at Barclays Center in December.
  • The event operators hope the tournament will help increase women’s college basketball visibility.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

A new championship-caliber women’s basketball tournament is launching this winter.

In December, HS&E and Fox Sports will host the inaugural Women’s Champions Classic, a four-team women’s multiteam event at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the two groups announced Thursday.

UConn, Louisville, Iowa, and Tennessee have agreed to participate, and they will get prime-time treatment on Fox’s main broadcast network for a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 7. The tournament was created with the idea of showcasing UConn, the most successful women’s program in NCAA history. The Huskies will be repeat participants, adding new teams each year.

The event operators hope it will increase visibility and promotion for women’s college basketball, which has skyrocketed over the past few years. Traditionally, many of the most high-profile multiteam events—nonconference basketball tournaments to kick off the season—have been for men’s teams. While it’s unclear how much the teams will profit from the event, it will likely provide an extra draw to the women’s game early in the season.

“Together with our partners at FOX, we look forward to igniting excitement and celebration around women’s basketball while honoring the exceptional student-athletes who make it shine,” co-CEO of HS&E David Levy said in a statement.

Fox could also use the event to add to its résumé to compete with ESPN’s women’s basketball slate, including the women’s tournament. 

“The Women’s Champions Classic is the next step in FOX Sports’ longstanding commitment to elevating women’s athletics, and we are eager to showcase these student-athletes at the highest level,” Jordan Bazant, EVP of Fox Sports, said in a statement.

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