Tickets Go On Sale For Hoop Group Classic Tuesday

PHILADELPHIA - Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 1 for the Philly Hoop Group Classic, a basketball tournament held at the historic Palestra.

The fifth annual Thanksgiving Weekend event will feature the University of Pennsylvania along with the University of Pittsburgh, James Madison University, La Salle University, Rider University, and Robert Morris University.

The Philly Hoop Group Classic's final-round games will be played at The Palestra on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26. The event's preliminary games will be played at participating schools from November 13-23. (Penn will be at Rider as part of the event on Nov. 17, and host Robert Morris on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.)

Hoop Group --which organizes instructional camps, clinics, high school events and college events -- created the annual tournament.

"We are once again excited to welcome some of the East's top programs to The Palestra for Thanksgiving Weekend," said Rob Kennedy, president of Hoop Group. "Our first four years have featured nationally ranked teams, memorable games and outstanding play. This year promises more of the same, highlighted by Pitt taking on Penn on November 25."

This year's field is led by perennial power Pittsburgh, who is coming off a 28-6 season, the Big East regular season championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers are led by All-America guard Ashton Gibbs, who was recently selected to the Wooden Award watch list.

James Madison and Rider are both coming off 20-win seasons, which produced postseason appearances, while Robert Morris lost a heartbreaker in overtime in the NEC Championship game last year.

Meanwhile the two Philadelphia teams, Penn and La Salle, both enter the season with high expectations. Led by two-time first team All-Ivy selection Zack Rosen, the Quakers will look to capture the Ivy League title. La Salle will look to make a run in the Atlantic 10 with a revamped roster led by native son Earl Pettis.

The Palestra opened in 1927 and is commonly referred to as "the Cathedral of College Basketball." Tickets are on sale Tuesday, Nov. 1 and can be purchased online at Penn's Box Office (http://www.pennathletics.com//tickets). The Box Office is located at 235 S. 33rd Street, Weightman Hall, Philadelphia, and can be reached by calling (215) 898-6151.