ijhl hurricanes logo 2013-14
The best men's college basketball players in Canada will battle for a national title in Charlottetown in 2017.
Holland College was awarded the crown jewel of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championship on Tuesday. It will take place March 15 to 18, 2017.
"We welcome the opportunity to bring our best CCAA men's basketball teams together and provide a championship that will exceed expectations for all involved," said Albert Roche, Holland College's athletics and recreation director.
"Prince Edward Island may be Canada's smallest province, but we have garnered an impressive reputation as a sports-minded province with many regional and national events being held here."
Holland College's men's basketball head coach Josh Whitty said Roche and the athletics department do a great job in hosting competitions.
"The college certainly sets a precedent as far as hosting national events," he said.
The men's basketball team is 11-0 and sits atop the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association standings. The three-time defending conference champion has made three straight trips to nationals, finishing second in 2012-13 in Montreal, fifth in 2013-14 in Squamish, B.C., and sixth in 2014-15 in Hamilton, Ont.
Whitty called Tuesday news "exciting."
"It guarantees us a spot there," he said. "We've been fortunate enough the last three years to earn a spot. Hopefully we can earn another one this year."
Despite a guaranteed spot, the goal is to go through the front door and earn its place at the competition.
The Hurricanes have been successful this season, despite returning only three players from last year's squad.
Whitty said hosting nationals could be a recruiting tool for the Hurricanes.
"There's only one team that's guaranteed to be there before the season starts, and that's the hosts," he said. "Some of the guys we're having conversations with, we believe, would be a major impact to the program and certainly help us compete at that level."
For now, the Hurricanes are focused on this weekend with games against the University of King's College Blue Devils, as it tries to get to this year's tournament in Fort McMurray, Alta.
"It would be nice to win on our home floor and it'd be nice to be hosting as returning national champs, but we'll continue that same approach as always," Whitty said. "We've got King's this weekend and we'll try to win two games."
Hosts with the most
A look at other national championships Holland College has hosted or have been awarded to host.
2008 – PING CCAA National Golf Championships at Fox Meadow Golf Club.
2011 – PING CCAA National Golf Championships at Brudenell River Golf Course.
2012 – CCAA National Women’s Soccer Championships at Terry Fox Sports Complex.
2015 – CCAA National Men’s Volleyball Championships at Centre for Community Engagement.
2016 – CCAA National Women’s Volleyball Championships at Centre for Community Engagement.
2016 – PING CCAA National Golf Championships at Fox Meadow Golf Club.
2017 – CCAA National Men’s Basketball Championships at Centre for Community Engagement.