Collegiate Challenge offers chance to watch seniors compete

Jim Swing
Assistant Sports Editor

Over the course of the past month, the city of Richmond has been referred to as “Hoopstown USA” or the center of the basketball universe.

With both VCU and the University of Richmond earning a spot in the Sweet 16, the Virginia capital recently became the capital of college basketball, and now the celebration continues.

VCU will host the semi-annual Commonwealth Collegiate Challenge on Thursday at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, offering students and fans a chance to see notable seniors from around Virginia hit the hardwood one last time.

Usually a CAA versus ACC event, coordinator Thomas Leachman of the Omni Sports Group opted to pair together VCU and UR’s seniors against seniors from other schools from Virginia due to their prestigious runs in the NCAA tournament.

Each team will house eight players, with seniors Brandon Rozzell, Jamie Skeen, Joey Rodriguez and Ed Nixon from the Rams teaming up with Kevin Anderson, Kevin Smith, Justin Harper, and Dan Geriot of the Spiders. Smith will be unable to play due to an injury sustained in the tournament but will join his teammates on the sidelines.

VCU will don its traditional gold jerseys while UR will sport its black jerseys with all opponents wearing white.

Forming their opposing team will be seniors Terrell Bell (Virginia Tech), Jeff Allen (Virginia Tech), Isaiah Tate (George Mason), Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Marcus Kitts (William & Mary), Keyon Carter (Old Dominion), Danny Jones (Randolph-Macon) and Ben Finney (Old Dominion).

Duke standout Nolan Smith was originally scheduled to appear on the team but was later forced to withdraw due to academic duties in order to graduate.

Former VCU star and current Milwaukee Bucks forward/center Larry Sanders is slated to be in attendance to watch his former teammates play together for one last time.

Players will be made available to fans for pictures and autographs during the halftime intermission and following the final buzzer.

“These guys have done a lot for the community,” Leachman said. “It’s fun for everybody to come and see them play for one last time.”

Hoopstown USA
Joey Rodriguez, G, VCU (10.4 PPG. 5.2 APG, 3.2 RPG)
Brandon Rozzell, G, VCU (11.5 PPG, 1.4 APG, 2.4 RPG)
Ed Nixon, G, VCU (7 PPG, 1.9 APG, 2.6 RPG)
Jamie Skeen, F, VCU (15.7 PPG, 1.6 APG, 7.3 RPG)
Kevin Anderson, G, Richmond (16.6 PPG, 3.3 APG)
Kevin Smith, G/F, Richmond (3.9 PPG, 3.4 APG)
Justin Harper, F, Richmond (17.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG)
Dan Geriot, C, Richmond (9.5 PPG, 2.8 APG, 3.9 RPG)

Terrell Bell, G/F, Virginia Tech (6.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
Jeff Allen, F, Virginia Tech (13.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG)
Isaiah Tate, G, George Mason (6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG)
Austin Freeman, G, Georgetown (17.6 PPG, 2.4 APG, 3.7 RPG)
Marcus Kitts, F, William & Mary (9.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
Keyon Carter, F, Old Dominion (7.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
Danny Jones, F, Randolph-Macon (13.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
Ben Finney, G/F, Old Dominion (9.2 PPG, 3 APG, 6.3 RPG)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply