The college basketball quadruple-header at San Francisco's Chase Center featuring Cal against Boston College will be called the Al Attles Classic, it was announced Thursday.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame also officially announced the teams that will be involved in the one-day, four-game event on December 21, 2019, although those matchups had been reported in April. The At Attles Classic will feature these games: Cal vs. Boston College, Stanford vs. San Diego, Arizona vs. St. John’s and St. Mary’s vs. Nevada.
"We're honored to play in an event associated with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and against a team from a great league like the ACC. I can't overstate our excitement at the opportunity to play in the new Chase Center," Cal head coach Mark Fox said in a statement.
Chase Center, which will be the home of the Golden State Warriors next season, is an 18,064-seat sports and entertainment arena, set to open in the fall of 2019. It will anchor an 11-acre mixed-use, privately-financed complex in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
The event’s namesake and local legend, Al Attles, has been with the Warriors in one capacity or another for nearly 60 years. Following his collegiate career at North Carolina A&T, he joined the Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State) and played for them from 1960 to 1971.
Since then, he has held numerous roles in the franchise including head coach (1970-1983), team executive and ambassador to the community. He led the organization to an NBA Championship in 1975 as a head coach and is one of five Warriors to have his number retired. Attles will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame with the Class of 2019 this September.
“We’re very excited to be launching a new collegiate event in the Bay Area, home to many Hall of Famers, including the remarkable Al Attles,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, in statement. “Chase Center is a world-class venue in a tremendous basketball community, and we expect many fans will make the trip to enjoy its amenities and support their universities this holiday season. To have a quadruple-header featuring three Bay Area teams will be a real treat.”
Warriors President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts also offered a statement:
“We’re honored to be hosting this inaugural event, featuring some of the top college basketball programs in the country and couldn’t think of a more deserving honoree than Al Attles,” said Welts. "Al is synonymous with the Warriors, so it’s only fitting that our first college basketball tournament at Chase Center carry his name.”
Coaches of the participating teams also issued statements:
Arizona coach Sean Miller:
“Arizona Basketball is thrilled to be participating in this event against a storied program from the Big East Conference. It will be great to play in the Bay Area, where we have such a dedicated alumni base that always shows us outstanding support. This is a game we are looking forward to as a program, and anticipate a fantastic atmosphere at a new, first-class arena.”
Stanford coach Jerod Haase:
“We are very excited for the opportunity to showcase our program at the new Chase Center in the heart of San Francisco. As the new home of the NBA Champions, the state-of-the-art facility will serve as an outstanding stage for a tremendous event. We are thrilled to be a part of history as the first college basketball event inside Chase Center and represent Stanford in one of the nation’s great cities just miles from our campus.”
Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett:
"We couldn't be more excited to participate in this year's Basketball Hall of Fame Al Attles Classic. Last season, we played in the Classic in Los Angeles and it was a first-class event. We're looking forward to facing a good Nevada team this year and to play closer to home inside a great venue.”
San Diego coach Sam Scholl:
"We're excited to take on a quality opponent in what will be a phenomenal venue for this showcase. We strive to give our scholar-athletes the best experience possible and the combination of tough teams and a state-of-the-art venue are opportunities we look forward to."
Boston College coach Jim Christian:
"We are excited to partner with our friends at the Basketball Hall of Fame and play in one of the world’s most innovative arenas at Al Attles Classic this year. The opportunity to play Cal at Chase Center in San Francisco will be a great test for our team as we prepare for the heart of ACC play.”
St. John’s coach Mike Anderson:
“We are excited for the opportunity to participate in the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2019 Al Attles Classic at the brand new Chase Center in San Francisco. It’s a first-class event held at a state-of-the-art venue that will challenge our team prior to conference play.”
Nevada coach Steve Alford:
“We are very excited to participate in the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Al Attles Classic at the new Chase Center in San Francisco. The opportunity to have Nevada play in the event in this new venue will be something special for our team, coaches and fans. Facing a quality opponent in Saint Mary’s will provide us with a challenge in a neutral setting.”