The Nevada Union Invitational Tournament is back for the second straight year, and this time it’s gone global.
In addition to schools from all over Northern California and Nevada, NU will host St. John’s Catholic School from Hamilton, New Zealand, one of eight teams participating in the tournament.
“We are thrilled to bring an international flavor to the tournament,” NU basketball head coach Jeff Dellis said. “We brought a team from Baltimore for the first two years, so we’ve been national, and now we’re international.”
Joining St John’s and Nevada Union in the tourney are Golden Valley from Merced, Will C. Wood from Vacaville, River Valley from Yuba City, El Camino from Sacramento, West Campus from Sacramento and McQueen from Reno.
The tourney tips off at 1 p.m. Thursday when the Miners take on the globe-trotting St. John’s team in Albert Ali Gymnasium.
“Since it’s during school, we are going to fill the gym with kids,” Dellis said. “We’re going to have 1,200 kids in the gym and show the Kiwi’s what an American high school basketball game is like.”
There will be four games played Thursday with consolation bracket games being played Friday afternoon, and championship bracket games being played Friday evening. The NUIT championship game will take place Saturday at 3:45 p.m. in Albert Ali Gymnasium.
At the conclusion of the tournament trophies will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place teams, as well as to the consolation bracket winner. An all-tourney team will also be announced at the end of the tourney.
The NUIT was started in the 1980s, Dellis said, but went on hiatus in 1992. Dellis brought the tourney back in 2002 and it ran for five straight seasons before taking another hiatus. When Dellis returned to coach the Miners last season, he again brought the tourney back to life.
The event is underwritten by Telestream, allowing most of the proceeds to go toward the NU basketball programs.
“Beyond it being a basketball event, it’s a cultural event for Nevada Union,” Dellis said. “The kids are housed with our families, they come to school with our kids on Friday and shadow our kids. I think it is reaffirming for a lot of people how great kids are and how great it is to work with kids, and it reaffirms for me that the future is in good hands.”
To contact Sports Writer Walter Ford call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.