As Glens Falls waits to hear if it will lose the State Boys Basketball Tournament, it learned on Thursday that it has recaptured a different tournament.
The New York State Federation of Secondary School Athletic Associations (NYSFSSAA) announced that its Basketball Tournament of Champions will start a three-year term at the Civic Center in 2017. The Federation Tournament had left Glens Falls in 2010 to be held in Albany.
"We never wanted it to go," tournament director Doug Kenyon said. "We think it's great for the Civic Center, it's great for the city, it's great for the people in the area."
Glens Falls hosted both the State Boys Basketball Tournament and the Federation Tournament of Champions from 1981 to 2010 at the Civic Center. For all but the first few years, they were held on separate weekends. The Federation tournament left after 2010 to be played in Albany, but the State Boys Basketball Tournament remained.
The State Boys Basketball Tournament is run by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and features mostly public schools outside of the city, though there are some private school members. The Federation tourney features the Class AA, A and B winners from that tournament against champions from the New York State Association of Independent Schools Athletic Association (AISAA), Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA), and the New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL).
That means the Federation is where everyone comes together: private schools as well as both New York City and state public schools.
Kenyon believes Glens Falls had the only bid after Binghamton dropped out a few days ago. The NYSPHSAA tournament bid has also come down to those two cities.
"In no way does this mean we are not interested in getting the public school tournament back," Kenyon said. "We'll continue to work hard for that."
He is a little concerned, however, that getting the Federation tournament could affect the bid process for the NYSPHSAA tournament, which is expected to be determined Dec. 18.
Despite that concern, he said no one in the organization suggested backing off the bid for Federation. They feel strongly that both tournaments belong in Glens Falls.
"I hope people don't take the approach that 'Glens Falls has the federations, so let's throw (Binghamton) a bone,'" Kenyon said. "We have a long history of hosting both and we know we can continue to do that."
Glens Falls' history of hosting successful championships was one of the factors in the decision, according to a press release from the NYSFSSAA. The state wrestling and volleyball championships have also been at the Civic Center.
The strong local volunteer support was another factor. As is the case at the volleyball tournament, all of the non-Civic Center employees are volunteers at the State Basketball Tournament and presumably that would be the case for Federations.
Additionally, the committee recognized convenient location and then central downtown setting with nearby restaurants and hotels.
Kenyon is excited to have the best of the best back in Glens Falls.
"You're seeing the best in the state in the boys and the girls," he said. "We enjoy that. If we can provide that type of event for the people in the area we want to do that. We're selfish, we want it for us. We like basketball."