Rainbow Warrior basketball joins Pearl Harbor Invitational

Mike Thomas // Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team will take part in the 2016 Fox Sports Pearl Harbor Invitational, Dec. 6-7, at historic Bloch Arena. The two-day, four-team invitational—part of the 75th Commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor—will also include California, Princeton, and Seton Hall.

UH will face Seton Hall on December 6 and Princeton on December 7 with the games televised live on FS1. Times are yet to be determined.

All four squads made the postseason in 2015-16. Seton Hall went 25-9 last year before falling to Gonzaga in the opening round of the NCAA, while Princeton advanced to the NIT and finished the season with a 22-7 mark. UH upset California in the NCAA First Round for the program’s first-ever win the in the Big Dance.

“We feel humbled and privileged to be involved in such a special event,” said head coach Eran Ganot. “This tournament is great for our program in terms of national exposure and the chance to compete against a pair of top-notch squads from the East Coast.

But this goes way beyond basketball. More than anything, this is a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to learn about and pay tribute to our fallen heroes, surviving veterans, and active men and women of the armed forces who have and continue to serve our nation. We’d like to thank Fox Sports and the 75th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor Committee for allowing our team and our University to be a part of this.”

This is the second straight year that the Pearl Harbor Invitational will be played at Bloch Arena. Last year’s invitational was a one-day doubleheader which included a contest between Oklahoma and Villanova, in a preview of an eventual Final Four matchup. Oregon, which earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, faced Navy in the second part of the double-header.

Bloch Arena withstood the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and is perhaps best known as the site of an Elvis Presley fundraising concert for the USS Arizona Memorial in 1961.

The Pearl Harbor Invitational is the first of two nationally-televised events that UH will be in this season. The ‘Bows will host the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22, 23 and 25, with a field that includes Illinois State, San Diego State, San Francisco, Southern Miss, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa and Utah.

UH is also slated to host national powerhouse North Carolina at the Stan Sheriff Center on Nov. 18.  The remainder of UH’s 2016-17 schedule will be announced at a later date.

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