For the second year in a row Fort Wayne is honored to welcome back the 75th Annual Lutheran Basketball Association of America’s National Tournament.
For the first 73 years, the 64-team national tournament had been held around the Midwest, most recently in Valparaiso, IN, but unforeseen circumstances prevented the youth basketball tournament from being hosted in Valparaiso in 2022, bringing leadership to Fort Wayne to scout a possible change in venue and city. Visit Fort Wayne's group sales team helped propose local venues and won the business for 2022, 2023, and possible future years.
Teams will arrive in Fort Wayne on Thursday, March 23rd, and the tournament will take place through Sunday, March 26th. Twenty Fort Wayne hotels are being utilized for housing teams and fans, expecting an attendance of 3,200 visitors from all over the nation including 32 boys teams, and 28 girls teams from schools in California, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and all over the Midwest.
Local teams will be participating as well from Concordia, Emmanuel St. Michael, and St. Paul's.
The tournament will be held at the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone, taking advantage of the convenience of 4 courts under one roof, with opening ceremonies taking place at the Concordia Theological Seminary.
Rob Gasser, President of LBAA says, "The 75th Annual Lutheran Basketball of America's National Tournament is back in Fort Wayne for its 2nd time after a very successful event last year. The opening ceremony is held again at the Concordia Theological Seminary on Thursday at 5 pm and the games are at Turnstone (Plassman Athletic Center) on Friday-Sunday. We are excited to celebrate our 75th anniversary with a new logo, signs, backdrops, and swag for the teams. Additionally, we are thankful for the great support from the Fort Wayne community that has graciously volunteered their time. Details can be found at www.lbaa.org."
Much appreciation goes to Laura Zeigler and the Fort Wayne Lutheran Community for assisting in the planning of the event and for working with local schools on securing volunteers for the event.
Considering the overall economic impact this group brings to Fort Wayne, along with the potential for a repeat opportunity to host, the tournament qualified as a recipient of a sports grant that Visit Fort Wayne manages on behalf of the City of Fort Wayne.
"We are honored to welcome back the LBAA's prestigious tournament and look forward to welcoming their teams to Fort Wayne knowing they're in great hands with our friends at Turnstone," said Jazmin Zavala, Sports Sales Manager at Visit Fort Wayne.