UVic Vikes draw a big crowd at CARSA for the preseason Canada West game. The Vikes are bidding for the U Sports national men’s basketball championships for 2019 and 2020.                                APShutter.com/UVicVikes

UVic Vikes draw a big crowd at CARSA for the preseason Canada West game. The Vikes are bidding for the U Sports national men’s basketball championships for 2019 and 2020. APShutter.com/UVicVikes

Vikes make bid to host national men’s basketball championships in 2019

Langford, Bear Mountain join UVic bid for nationals

The University of Victoria are bidding to host the 2019 and 2020 U Sports men’s basketball national championships.

Vikes Athletics and Recreation department made the announcement Wednesday and are joined by Bear Mountain Resort, the City of Langford, SportHost Victoria and Tourism Victoria in making the bid.

It would be the latest in a line of national championships at UVic. Last year the Vikes hosted the cross country nationals (November) and the 2016-17 season saw the women’s rugby and women’s basketball championships.

“This is a highly competitive process and it would not be possible for us to bid on the opportunity without the incredibly strong backing from our community partners,” said Clint Hamilton, director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation.

The Vikes have hosted the men’s basketball national championship once, 1981-82 in McKinnon Gym. That year legendary coach Ken Shields led the Vikes to their third of seven consecutive titles.

In addition to recent championships at UVic, the school also hosted the women’s field hockey national championship four times since 2008, the 2015 and 2012 Canadian University Golf Championships, the 2014 Canadian University Rowing Championships and back-to-back national soccer championships for the men and women in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

“The Greater Victoria region has a proven record as an outstanding basketball community and the bid to host the Canadian men’s university basketball championships has been on our wish list for many years,” said Hugh MacDonald, executive director of SportHost Victoria. “UVic’s CARSA Performance Gym provides the best venue in the country and the partnership UVic has created to host the championship gives us a great opportunity to win the bid.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

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