ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) has announced it will participate in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (CIAA) first-ever virtual tournament.
The week-long celebration called “CIAA Virtual Vibe: Tournament Edition” runs from Feb. 23 until Feb. 27 — traditionally known as CIAA Basketball Tournament week.
“This is an exciting and innovative approach to a highly anticipated event,” says ECSU Athletic Director George Bright. “While COVID-19 precautions have postponed actual games, to be able to participate in the CIAA’s virtual event is a terrific way to celebrate the schools and our student-athletes.”
While no tournament games are being played, officials say the tournament will spotlight each of its CIAA member institutions and offer VIP access to ECSU on the virtual platform.
The virtual experience will be hosted by comedians B. Simone, Darren Brand, and Burpie. There will be a collection of new events, including an Old School/New School DJ Battle and the CIAA Esports Tournament.
These events, along with performances by national recording artists and celebrity appearances, will be the tournament’s 76th annual celebration of HBCU championship basketball, sports, and culture.
Alumni, students, and fans can visit the campus, participate in chats and exclusive events by purchasing a special 2021 Commemorative ticket.
“We are thrilled to be able to create this virtual tournament week experience, which will be one of a kind for an NCAA athletic conference at any level, to engage our fans, alumni, students, member institutions, and partners,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams.
“Despite no in-person activity or games being played, this is a great opportunity to expand our reach beyond the 150,000+ fans that annually convene in our host city during tournament week and expose new audiences to the legacy and rich tradition of this conference while introducing the many elements that embody the CIAA Tournament experience and highlighting the cultural impact it has on our community as a whole.”
Accompanying this one-of-a-kind experience is a new theme, “The Legacy Lives On,” which will be highlighted in social media and marketing campaigns as well as in custom memorabilia for the conference.
Free registration for the Tournament is now open on the virtual platform and can be accessed HERE.