HALIFAX (AUS/CIS) – At a joint announcement from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in Halifax Friday morning, former Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano was named the honorary chair of the 2012 CIS Final 8 men’s basketball championship.
Triano was welcomed by Final 8 event chair John Patterson, Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport, Marg McGregor, chief executive officer of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and Michele O’Keefe of Canada Basketball.
This year’s CIS championship is being held in Halifax from March 9 to 11 and will mark the 32nd time the province has hosted the tournament, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next month. In 2013, the tourney will return to Ottawa, where Carleton University will host the event at Scotiabank Place for two years.
The highly-anticipated national tournament packs an undeniable punch in Atlantic Canada where fans have flocked for decades to cheer on their teams.
Since 1963, AUS conference teams have been regularly competing against schools and cities with enrolment and catchment populations many times their own size for tournament hosting rights, and of course, the trophy itself.
“It is a proud tradition,” says Patterson. “Anyone involved with hosting the tournament here in Halifax over the past five decades has experienced the energy it brings to the city and the province, and it truly spans the entire country.”
It is in keeping with this theme of pride and tradition that the Final 8 organizing committee and CIS are pleased to recognize Jay Triano as an individual who is fundamentally connected to the growth of basketball in Canada.
Triano logged 11 years on the Canadian national team and three trips to the Olympics following a collegiate playing career at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where he later served as head coach.
The Niagara Falls, Ont., native would later coach the Canadian men’s national team from 1998 to 2004 and became the first Canadian-born, Canadian-trained coach in the NBA when he joined the Raptors in 2002, serving as head coach from 2008 to 2011.
“I’m thrilled to be playing a part in an event so integral to the continued development of basketball in Canada,” says Triano. “The passion for the sport in Halifax was immediately apparent to me on past visits to the city, and I can’t wait to be a part of the whole experience again.”
“It is always special when we can host the Final 8, and perhaps even more so this year as we will be saying goodbye for at least two years,” says Currie. “Having Jay on board with us this year adds something really special to our send off, his participation is helping to build even more excitement in the city and across the national basketball community.”
“CIS is delighted that Jay Triano will serve as the Honorary Chair of the Final 8, especially in this important anniversary year for our organization,” says McGregor. “Jay has special ties to university sport having represented Canada at three Summer Universiades, including as captain of the gold-medal winning team at the 1983 Games in Edmonton. Jay is a Canadian basketball legend, and we are so pleased that he will be a part of the Final 8 action.”
Tickets for the 2012 CIS Final 8 men’s basketball championship presented by Subway are now on sale.
Ticket packages can be purchased by contacting the Ticket Atlantic Box Office at 902-451-1221 or logging on to www.ticketatlantic.ca.
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca.
About Atlantic University Sport
Atlantic University Sport is responsible for governing interuniversity sport in Atlantic Canada and is comprised of 11 member institutions and over 2,000 student-athletes who compete annually for 16 conference championships in nine different sports, including basketball, cross country, football, hockey, rugby, soccer, swimming, track & field and volleyball. It is the mission of Atlantic University Sport to enhance the educational experience of students in university through sport programs offered by member institutions working in partnership. For further information, visit www.atlanticuniversitysport.com.