Cascade Hoops Talk has formally announced the Cascade Hoops Talk Crossroads/Cascade Classic. The event is initially a two-year agreement, hosted by Grace College in November 2022 and Oregon Tech in November 2023. The Classic includes 4 top tier schools from two of the most competitive leagues in NAIA Basketball.
This will be the premiere NAIA Men's Basketball preseason tournament. The 4 programs have combined for 52 NAIA tournament appearances, 86 national tournament wins, 43 conference championships and 6 NAIA national championships.
Grace College Lancers will join the Bethel Pilots as representatives of the Crossroads League, while the Oregon Tech Hustlin' Owls and Bushnell University Beacons (formerly Northwest Christian) represent the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
"We are thrilled to be participating and hosting the Cascade Hoops Talk Crossroads/Cascade Classic" said Justin Parnell, Head Coach at Oregon Tech, "This tournament will feature programs with a combined 6 NAIA national championships. I'm not sure you can say that for any other tournament in the country."
Cascade Conference power Bushnell University Head Coach Eddie Alexander is excited to join the trio of historic programs. "We are very excited to represent the CCC and Bushnell University in this tournament," Alexander added, "We believe this is a great opportunity to showcase the Cascade Conference and the growth of the Bushnell men's basketball program."
Coach Scott Moore is looking forward to this marquee early season test. "Grace College is extremely proud to host the inaugural Crossroads/Cascade Classic. The Lancers have a long-storied history against Oregon Tech, which will obviously add some fan interest. But Coach Alexander is bringing a very talented Beacon squad to Indiana, and Steve and I better be ready for 2 tough contests."
Steve Drabyn, Head Coach Bethel Pilots added, "We are honored and thrilled to be a part of this great classic between two really good conferences. These two leagues are traditionally high-level leagues that have many great players and coaches."
Conference Commissioners Rob Cashell (Cascade) and Larry DeSimpelare (Crossroads) are joining the challenge as well. "We are excited for this historic matchup," said Cashell, "and if somehow the Crossroads could prevail in year one, we're putting up some Oregon Huckleberry." Not to be outdone, DeSimpelare added, "It's a shame Rob will never enjoy the Sugar Pie we've placed on the line. These leagues have a long history at Nationals, and it's high time we bring this rivalry to our local fans."
There is one thing everyone agrees upon. This will be a competitive tournament. "It is exciting to be able to compete against two really good teams from the Cascade Conference" said Drabyn, "Our fan base is going to be fired up with the match-ups."
Cascade Hoops Talk covers NAIA Men's Basketball and produces the premiere podcast for NAIA Men's Basketball. Follow Billy Dee at CascadeHoopsTalk.com and join on Twitter @CascadeHoopTalk. Cascade Hoops Talk podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts.