THE FLATS - Georgia Tech’s and Georgia State’s men’s basketball teams are partnering to raise money to benefit the ongoing hurricane relief effort by playing an exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 28, at McCamish Pavilion. Dubbed the “A-Town Showdown for Hurricane Relief,” tipoff will be at noon.
The Yellow Jackets and Panthers will face off on the hardwood for the first time since December of 2008, doing so in an effort to aid the victims of the recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The NCAA has granted the teams a waiver to add the exhibition game, as they also did for Kansas-Missouri and Providence-Connecticut, among others, to raise funds to aid in relief efforts.
Tickets for the game are $20 to the general public, and $5 for students from both schools. All seating is general admission. The game will not be televised or streamed online. Parking is available to the public for $10 in the Family Housing deck on 10th Street beyond the Turner campus, the State Street deck and Peters Parking Deck.
“We’re thrilled that the NCAA has allowed its members to have these games to raise money toward the ongoing hurricane relief effort,” said Tech head coach Josh Pastner, the reigning ACC coach of the year whose family was directly impacted by flooding from Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. “We’re grateful that Georgia State has partnered with us in trying to help the victims of these disasters, and we encourage fans from both schools to just buy a ticket, come support your team and help us raise the most money we can.”
“We’re excited to welcome our neighbors from Georgia State for a one-of-a-kind exhibition game but, more importantly, we’re grateful for the opportunity to raise money for all of the areas that were devastated by the storms this hurricane season,” said Todd Stansbury, Georgia Tech’s director of athletics. ”I’d like to thank GSU head coach Ron Hunter, A.D. Charlie Cobb and the NCAA for helping make it happen. We hope that fans from both teams are able to come out, get a preview of the great college basketball that Atlanta has to offer this season and support a terrific cause.”
“We look forward to playing Georgia Tech and partnering on such a worthy cause,” said Georgia State coach Ron Hunter. “There has been so much devastation caused by these hurricanes over the last few months. We hope that our fan bases will come together to cheer on both teams as we look to raise as much money possible for all of those who are still in need.”
“We are proud to come together with Georgia Tech to raise funds and awareness for hurricane relief after the devastation caused by these storms over the last few months,” Georgia State director of athletics Charlie Cobb added. “We hope that fans of both programs will come out and support each program as we help the millions of individuals who were affected.”
This will be the first competition open to the public for both teams. Tech also plays NAIA member Faulkner in an exhibition game on Nov. 2 before opening its season Nov. 10 against UCLA in Shanghai, China. Georgia State hosts a pair of Division II teams for exhibition games, Nov. 2 against Lees-McRae and Nov. 6 against Coker College, before its season opener against Carver Bible College Nov. 10 at home.
Tech has won 21 games and received a bid to the NIT in each of the past two years. The Yellow Jackets return their top three scorers – sophomore guard Josh Okogie, senior center Ben Lammers and senior guard Tadric Jackson – from a 2016-17 team which surpassed all pre-season projections by advancing all the way to the championship game of the NIT. Along the way, the Jackets knocked off No. 9 North Carolina, the eventual national champion, No. 6 Florida State and No. 14 Notre Dame, as well as Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Syracuse in conference play.
Lammers, who ranked No. 2 in the nation in blocked shots and No. 4 in the ACC in rebounding, earned second-team All-ACC honors and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Okogie, who accumulated the third-most points of any Tech freshman in program history, was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and to the USA Basketball U19 team that won a bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup in Cairo, Egypt in early July.
Georgia State returns three starters from a squad that won 20 games and advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Panthers have won 20 or more games in three of the last four seasons, advancing to postseason play in each of those years. During that time, Georgia State has finished in the top two in the Sun Belt standings three times. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won 86 games, the most of any NCAA Division 1 program in the state of Georgia.
Among the starters returning for Georgia State is sophomore D’Marcus Simonds who was named Sun Belt Freshman of the Year last season. Head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s all-time leader in wins, will enter the 2017-18 season just three wins shy of 400 for his career. He has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win season.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its second year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.