LANCASTER, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's and women's basketball teams will play a doubleheader at the legendary Palestra this season, the Centennial Conference announced Tuesday.
The Bears are scheduled to take on Gettysburg as part of a five-game CC showcase set for January 14 inside the hallowed halls of the "Cathedral of College Basketball" on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The doubleheader begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be followed by a twin bill between Dickinson and Washington College and a men's contest pitting McDaniel against Muhlenberg.
"The history of the Palestra for basketball fans is unmatched and will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students," said Centennial Conference Executive Director Steve Ulrich. "They will play under the same roof as Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Julius Erving, Bill Bradley, Bob Lanier, Patrick Ewing, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. We are also excited to showcase the Centennial Conference and Division III basketball for prospective students in the Philadelphia area, as well as alumni and friends of our institutions."
The 8,722-seat Palestra is one of the most famous arenas in all of sport. The home of the Quakers – coached by Ursinus graduate Steve Donahue – and the Big 5, it has hosted more college basketball games than anywhere else in the world.
This will mark the second time in three years that the Ursinus men will be afforded the opportunity to play on the historic court. Head coach Kevin Small and company went toe to toe with Division I Penn there in December of 2015, taking a tie game into halftime before falling by a 73-66 count in the Bears' first visit to the Palestra since a 1999 tilt with Swarthmore. Ursinus also faced Haverford there during the 1997-98 campaign.
For head coach Margaret White and the Ursinus women's team, the experience will be uncharted territory.
"This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us – especially our players," White said. "Many of them have grown up around the Philadelphia area and know the history behind the Palestra, so it will be extra special for them. We're so grateful to be able to showcase the Centennial Conference on such a meaningful stage."
Ticket prices and more information about the day will be available at a later date.
For a full feature on the Palestra, previewing Ursinus' 2015 game against Penn, click here.