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2024 Food Lion CIAA Men's And Women's Basketball Tournament Ready For Tip Off On 2/26

CIAA will hold the 2024 CIAA Men's and Women's Championship Basketball Tournament on Feb. 26 to March. 3 in Baltimore, MD.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA®), the nation's oldest historically Black athletic conference, announced today that the Food Lion 2024 CIAA Men's and Women's Championship Basketball Tournament taking place February 26 - March 3, 2024 at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD. This year marks the 79th Anniversary of the Tournament and the CIAA's 4th year in Baltimore. February is CIAA, and fans are invited to "Meet Us in Baltimore" to enjoy 26 basketball showdowns, Fan Fest, step shows, parties, Career Expo, Education Day, A-list performances, and more.

As part of the CIAA's multi-year partnership with ESPN, all 26 games will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, and the championship games will also be shown on ESPNU.

2024 is a year of celebration for the CIAA as it marks the 50th Anniversary of NCAA Division II. It is also the 20th Anniversary of the Mister and Miss CIAA Scholarship Competition and the tournament's Ball Girl/Ball Boy Program. A fixture of tournament week, the Ball Girl/Boy program is a one-of-its-kind initiative that puts local youth right in the middle of the action throughout tournament week.

Led by Ben Piggot and Robert Chadwick of Operation Future, the program provides ball boys and girls for the tourney and allows many area youth to get their first taste of the HBCU Experience. The Mister and Miss CIAA Competition is sponsored by Food Lion, the Official Grocer of the CIAA for 30 years (and the Tournament's first-ever Presenting Sponsor). The Mister & Miss CIAA Scholarship Competition recognizes two individuals who stand out in professionalism, academics, school involvement, and public service. On March 2, during "Super Saturday" at the Baltimore Convention Center, two individuals will be crowned and presented with $2,500 scholarships. Bluefield State student-athletes will also join this year's competition for the first time since 1955.

"This is an incredibly special year for the CIAA as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NCAA Division II and the 30th Anniversary of our alliance with Food Lion," said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams Parker. "The CIAA Men's & Women's Basketball Tournament is a culmination of the hard work of our member institutions and our student-athletes, as well as a celebration of HBCU culture and community. Through our relationships with partners like ESPN, Food Lion, Under Armour, and others, we can continue to provide opportunities and access for the next generation."

The CIAA Basketball Championship Tournament is a precursor to March Madness, and also intentionally falls during the last week in February, Black History Month. As one of the country's top 10 cities with the highest percentage of Black or African-American residents, one that honors and amplifies Black culture, Baltimore is the perfect destination for the CIAA Tournament. Since its move to Baltimore, the CIAA Tournament has generated a total economic impact of $29.6 million for Charm City, supporting 1,504 part-time and full-time jobs and generating $2.5 million in state and local taxes.

"The CIAA is a week-long celebration of Black excellence and HBCU culture that brings together student-athletes, coaches, sports fans, celebrities, and the business community," said Al Hutchinson, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "We are excited to celebrate the tournament's 4th year in Baltimore and hope to see both out-of-town fans and our local community experience the championship games and all the community events happening during the week."

In addition to the 26 games featured in this year's Men's and Women's Basketball Championship Tournament, the CIAA will again offer fan-favorite events for all ages, including Fan Fest, High School Education Day, CIAA Career Expo, Super Saturday, The 8th Annual Samaritan's Feet "Shoes of Hope" initiative, The John B. McClendon Jr. CIAA Hall of Fame Breakfast, and other exciting events. The CIAA is partnering with Visit Baltimore to offer the 3rd annual series of town halls and symposiums, including a Tech Summit House, Money Moves Financial Summit, Health & Mental Wellness Forum, and more.

Fans can also enjoy the annual entertainment events during Tournament week, such as the CIAA Legends of Hip Hop Party, CIAA High School, Greek Step Shows, and the CIAA Alumni party. Artists confirmed to perform include. DJ Jazzy Jeff & Rakim, DJ Kool, Rare Essence, Kid Capri, Big Daddy Kane, Monie Luv, Yo Yo, Lady of Rage, Michel'le, Roxanne Shante, The Sanctified Gospel Trap Choir, and more.