Fiesta Bowl, Mesa Community College Team Up For Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout


Andy Bagnato

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Eight teams from the U.S. and Canada, including the last two NJCAA Division I men’s basketball national champions, will compete in the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout hosted by Mesa Community College this December.

The three-day double-elimination tournament tips off on Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. Howard College of Texas, the 2010 NJCAA Division I national champion, will face defending Shootout champion Scottsdale Community College in the opening round. Other participants include host Mesa Community College, the 2010 NJCAA Region I champion, and Salt Lake City Community College, which won the 2009 NJCAA Division I national title.

“The Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout is a wonderful opportunity for our student athletes, college and our entire athletic department,” Mesa Community College athletics director John Mulhern said. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with the Fiesta Bowl and have high hopes that this basketball shootout 
will become the premier junior college tournament in the country".

Born as a community service project in 1983, the Mesa Shootout was developed by MCC basketball coach Tom Bennett along with Jim Huckeba and the Rev. Russ Durler of the Mesa West Rotary Club. Dixie College of Utah won the first Shootout in 1984, and over the years the tourney has played host to more than 50 teams from 23 states and Canada, bringing thousands of players and fans to the Valley.

“We are excited about teaming up with Mesa Community College to present an event with a long and distinguished history,” Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Duane Woods said. “At a challenging time for the Arizona tourism industry, we’re happy to support a tournament that is attractive to Valley sports fans and out-of-state visitors alike. We’re grateful to Mesa Community College for managing the event and to the City of Mesa for its support.”

Mesa Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh said, “One of the key elements of our city’s economic development effort is promoting tourism in Mesa. Capturing the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout is a significant development for Mesa and is consistent with our growing reputation as a community well-position to handle sporting competitions of this type.”

The first round features two doubleheaders on Dec. 31 at Theo Heap Gymnasium, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa – one at 12:00 p.m. and another at 6:00 p.m.

Opening-round losers meet in a doubleheader starting at 2:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day. A doubleheader pairing first-round winners starts at 6:00 p.m. The consolation championship is at 4:00 p.m. on Jan. 2, followed immediately by the championship game.

For ticket information, contact Todd Bolser at Mesa Community College, 480-461-7543.