High school basketball season is drawing to a close and the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau is once again playing host to the Class 2A state tournament at Bramlage Coliseum.
“We’ll have eight teams come in from across the state on Wednesday. Games will be played at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. We certainly encourage the community to come out and cheer them on,” says Marcia Rozell, Sports/Leisure Sales Manager with Manhattan CVB.
Rozell is managing this year’s tournament for CVB, which is hosting the event for the 34th consecutive year. She takes over for longtime CVB Director Karen Hibbard, who retired last month and helped manage the tournament for several years. Given how well some of the state’s smaller schools travel for high school sports, it’s a tournament that does very well to boost the local economy in Manhattan.
“We appreciate all the community does to welcome them. We certainly see an uptick in our restaurants. We’ve got some great partners that help us because we have about 50 volunteers a day for the four days working the entire time,” she said.
Gate receipts are typically higher with the 2A tournament than some of the other tournaments, according to Rozell.
The first round of the boys’ tournament tips off Wednesday, with the girls’ first round games to follow on Thursday. The tournament continues through championship Saturday, with the boys contest at 4 p.m. followed by the girls, just after 6 p.m. Brackets for the boys’ and girls’ tournaments are shared below.
Rozell says they are pretty well set on volunteers for this weeks event but will need volunteers the following weekend. After the high school state tournaments wrap up, Manhattan will then play host to another tournament March 17-18, when Special Olympics Kansas brings the State Basketball and Cheerleading Competition to Manhattan’s Anthony and Eisenhower Recreation Centers.
Special Olympics Kansas Sports and Program Manager Krystin Guggisberg says over 750 Special Olympics athletes will be participating.
“That equals out to 71 basketball teams. Our tournaments are a little bit more unique in that we have those basketball teams, cheer teams and individual skills athletes,” she said.
There are still plenty of volunteer opportunities to help with the two day event, both on site and for the banquet Friday night (March 17) at the team’s banquet.
“The only hard part is that it’s Spring Break, so we have a lot of people that leave town. We still need those volunteers to come out and welcome those athletes and fans and create a great tournament for them,” Rozell said.
To volunteer, click on the link here, which will take you to the online sign up form or visit SOKS.org and click on the “Volunteer” button, then “CLICK HERE FOR UPCOMING VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES”. Select 2023 State Basketball and Cheerleading – Manhattan.