McKeesport, Pa. – The United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament gets kicked off this week with the first-round set for Wednesday February 28th. Before the action kicks off, all 10 participating teams will show off their skills in the 2018 USCAA Skills Competition sponsored by Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
The skills competition will consist of three different contests including a hot shot shooting contest (women only), a three-point shooting contest (men and women), and a slam dunk contest (men only). The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team will have two participants in the event with Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) going for the slam dunk contest and Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) participating in the three-point contest.
Payne will be participating in the three-point contest for the second straight year after participating in last year’s event. Payne finished the season leading the Penn State University Athletic Conference in three-point percentage shooting 44.0% (113-257). Payne was the top scorer this season for PSUGA averaging 19.7 points per game.
Hicks will be participating in his first slam dunk contest this season. Last year Juwan Ledbetter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Alderdice) participated in the event for PSUGA. Hicks had a big year racking up 5.7 assists per game to lead the PSUAC while breaking both the all-time assist record (386) and the single season assist record (148).
The USCAA Skills Competition will be followed by the All-American Banquet at 6 p.m. where the 2017/2018 all-Americans will be announced. Last season, PSUGA had one all-American when Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) was named a Second Team All-American in USCAA Division II Men’s Basketball. It was the first time that Newby had won the award.
USCAA Men’s Basketball Division II Tournament Play will then kick off on Wednesday February 28th when #9 Vermont Tech takes on #8 PSU-Wilkes Barre at 8 p.m. and #10 PSU-Fayette faces #7 Warren Wilson College at 6 p.m.
Quarterfinal play will follow on March 1st as PSUGA will face off with #3 Villa Maria at 12 p.m. in the main arena. A win by PSUGA would advance them to the semifinal round on Friday where they would face the winner of #2 Central Penn or the winner of #10 PSU-Fayette and #7 Warren Wilson College. However, a loss would take them to the consolation round where they would play at 10 a.m. The USCAA National Championship game will take place on Saturday March 3rd.
You can follow PSUGA along their journey through the national tournament by following us on Twitter (@PSUGAATHLETICS), Facebook (/PSUGAAthletics), and Instagram (@psugaathletics). We will have all the inside coverage as the team makes a run for their first ever national championship.