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Tuesday
Nov062012

2012 Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase to Feature UMass and Elon at the MassMutual Center on Dec. 15th

Event preceded by Springfield Rotary “Service Above Self” Luncheon Honoring Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun and the Big Y Family

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today a matchup of the University of Massachusetts and Elon University men’s basketball teams for its 2012 Holiday Showcase to be held at the MassMutual Center on Saturday, December 15th at 12 pm.

 “We are excited to announce this matchup for our 2012 Holiday Showcase here in Western Massachusetts,” said John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  “It is great to host UMass coach Derek Kellogg and his Minutemen once again and the Hall of Fame continues to help bring great basketball to Springfield.”

Coming off a 25-12 overall record including a trip to the NIT Semifinals, UMass has high expectations for the 2012-13 season by returning several players from last season including Chaz Williams who was named to the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Preseason First-Team, as well as all four of their top scorers from last year.

Elon returns four starters from last year's team, which includes preseason All-Southern Conference selection Jack Isenbarger, as well as Lucas Troutman, Sebastian Koch, and Ryley Beaumont. The Phoenix open up the season on November 10th against Butler as part of the Maui Invitational.

“We are very excited to be playing in the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase for the second-consecutive year,” said Kellogg.  “Last year’s event was a good experience for our team. We are proud to be affiliated with the Hall of Fame and to play in what we consider our second home, the MassMutual Center. We faced Elon last year in Amherst and this year they are expected to challenge for the Southern Conference title so I think the fans will see a very entertaining game."

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Showcase will be priced at $20 and $14. Tickets are now on sale via Ticketmaster outlets or the MassMutual Center box office during business hours.

In conjunction with the Holiday Showcase, the Basketball Hall of Fame will also be hosting the third annual Springfield Rotary “Service Above Self” Luncheon on Friday, December 14th at 12 pm on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams.  This year’s honorees – who live out the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” – are the D'Amours and the Big Y Family and retired University of Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun (Hall of Fame Class of 2005).

The D’Amour family has championed Southern New England’s only family-owned supermarket chain, Big Y,  to service the community for over 75 years.  In addition to running great supermarkets,  education has  played a very important role  for them.  Working together, The YMCA of Greater Springfield, Springfield Public Schools, Big Y Foods, and other businesses have partnered together for Y-AIM to provide talented, underachieving at-risk youth entering the 9th grade with a solid support system throughout all four years of high school as a means to assure graduation from high school, pursuit of higher education and access to gainful employment in the global marketplace.  Big Y also donates over 300 scholarships annually to local students in the community,  as well as more than $13 million in equipment and other support to 2,000 public and parochial schools through their  Education Express program.

Calhoun used his success to champion many causes during his stint as Head Coach at the University of Connecticut.  Having beaten cancer – twice, Coach Calhoun has devoted his time and money to help raise millions of dollars for cancer research and education.  In 1998, he and his wife established the Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund, donating $125,000 to the UConn Health Center.  Each year the Calhoun family host the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive, which has raised over $1 million for the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, providing over 1.6 million meals to families in need. Since 1994, Calhoun has served as honorary chairman for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, another example of his continued efforts to impact his community.  Jim Calhoun was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

For more information on tickets to the luncheon, please contact Jason Fiddler, Director of Museum Sales, at 413-231-5540 or jfiddler@hoophall.com.

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.  The Springfield Rotary Club meets every Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the Mass Mutual Room at The Basketball Hall of Fame, West Columbus Avenue, Springfield.  For more information on the Rotary Club of Springfield or becoming a member, please visit their Web site at www.springfieldmarotary.org.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.