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By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay men’s basketball team has accepted an invitation to open the 2013-14 season at the inaugural HBCU Tip-Off Championship in Atlanta from Nov. 8-10, head coach Brian Wardle announced on Thursday.

The HBCU Tip-Off Championship, which will be played at the home of the Atlanta Hawks Philips Arena, will celebrate the athletic talents and achievements of current and past Historical Black College and University (HBCU) basketball players and coaches. This historic event will showcase the rich history and contributions of the HBCU culture.

“Although our university is not an HBCU, we recognize the importance of these historical institutions and are honored to support and participate in the inaugural tournament,” said Wardle. “Aside from the experiences on the court, the HBCU Tip-Off Championship will be an educational experience for our student-athletes off the court.”

As part of the event, the Phoenix will play its season opener on Friday, Nov. 8 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Golden Lions finished the 2012-13 season at 16-14 overall and 15-3 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, just one game outside of first place.

On Sunday, Nov. 10, Green Bay will take on Texas Southern at 3 p.m. CT. The Tigers are the defending regular season SWAC champions after finishing 17-14 overall and 16-2 in league play in 2012-13.

“This tournament is a great place to start our season,” said Wardle. “We will have a chance to travel to Atlanta to play against two quality teams, play in an NBA arena and experience a tournament atmosphere.”

The HBCU Tip-Off Classic will provide scholarships for local Atlanta high school students from economically underserved backgrounds and grant money for continued research towards preventative health measures that disproportionately affect communities of color.

While in Atlanta, the Phoenix will attend the Man-to-Man Breakfast hosted by former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Dennis Scott, participate in community service events at local hospitals and community centers, and watch the Orlando Magic take on the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

“I believe being part of the inaugural HBCU Tip-Off Championship event is a tremendous opportunity for our men’s basketball student-athletes,” said Interim Director of Athletics Dan McIver. “It is an opportunity to support the rich history of HBCU’s, while also providing our student-athletes with experiences in areas that are the core of Phoenix athletics, including education, community service and competition.”    

Green Bay’s complete men’s basketball schedule for the 2013-14 season is expected to be finalized in the near future, but the HBCU Tip-Off Championship adds to an already challenging non-conference schedule. Wardle had previously announced his team’s participation in the Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 28-30) and home contests against Wisconsin (Nov. 16) and Virginia (Dec. 7).

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