Liberty will meet East Carolina in Charlotte as part of the first-ever Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout. The event, which will be held on Dec. 17, will be played at the Spectrum Center, the home of the Charlotte Hornets. Game times, ticket information, and television broadcast details will be released at a later date.
The one day quadruple-header will feature NC State vs Richmond, Virginia Tech vs St. Bonaventure, Charlotte vs Wake Forest, as well as the Flames and the Pirates.
This event was scheduled to make its debut during the 2020-21 season with Liberty and East Carolina expected to play before the event was canceled amid the COVID pandemic. This will mark the second time in three seasons the two teams have met on the hardwood. This is also the second appearance in the last three seasons that Liberty will participate in a Naismith Hall of Fame event, as the Flames defeated Grand Canyon in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in 2019. The Flames defeated ECU, 77-57, in Greenville, North Carolina on Nov. 16, 2019. Caleb Homesley led the way with 25 points and 9 rebounds for the Flames.
The Pirates finished the 2019-20 season at 11-20 overall and 5-13 in the AAC under head coach Joe Dooley. This past year, ECU finished with an 8-11 overall record and 2-10 mark in conference play. They defeated the ASUN’s North Florida, 73-67, on Dec. 10, 2020 on their home floor in Greenville, North Carolina. East Carolina will have to move on without the services of Jayden Gardner who transferred to Virginia during the offseason. The 6’7″, 235 pound Gardner averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game for the Pirates this past season.
“Liberty is honored to play in such a prestigious event such as the Hall of Fame Shootout,” head coach Ritchie McKay said in a statement. “This game affords our players the opportunity to play in a tournament-like atmosphere against an exceptional opponent in East Carolina.”
The game against the Pirates adds to a growing list of announced games for the Flames this coming season. Liberty is also scheduled to play at LSU on November 15, host Missouri at Liberty Arena on December 2, and compete in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii December 22-25. The Flames will travel to Hawaii as part of a field that includes BYU, Hawaii, Northern Iowa, South Florida, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Wyoming.
“We’re very excited to be launching a collegiate event in North Carolina, a state known for its tremendous basketball history,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Spectrum Center is a fantastic NBA venue in a terrific basketball community, and we’re excited to provide this unique opportunity to eight collegiate teams and their fans this fall.”