December 17, 2021

Blake Timm
Great Northwest America Athletic
(503) 305-8756

Great North America Athletic Conference Basketball Championships To Bellingham In 2023, Ellensburg In 2024

The GNAC Basketball Championships will continue its run in the Evergreen State for the foreseeable future as Western Washington and Central Washington have been selected as the next hosts for the conference’s annual postseason tournament.

Western Washington was selected to host the 2023 GNAC Basketball Championships with Central Washington tapped to host the 2024 event.

“Both Western Washington, which hosted this event in 2019 in a remodeled Carver Gym, and Central Washington, which will be able to showcase a renovated Nicholson Pavilion, will be terrific hosts for our basketball championships,” said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund. “We look forward to partnering with both members to create exciting experiences for our conference student-athletes.”

The 2023 Championships will mark the second time that Western Washington has hosted the three-day men’s and women’s basketball tournament. It was last held in Bellingham in 2019, which provided the institution a showcase for the recently renovated Carver Gym.

“We are honored to host the GNAC Basketball Championships once again in 2023 and looking forward to putting on a first-class event for the student-athletes, coaches and spectators,” said Western Washington director of athletics Steve Card. “We enjoyed hosting the championships in Carver Gym in 2019 and look forward to once again providing the same experience and welcoming teams and fans to Bellingham, the WWU campus and WECU Court in Carver Gym.”

The 2024 championships will mark the first time that Central Washington will host the tournament since it moved to a one-site format in 2012. The Wildcats hosted three GNAC Championships games in 2011 when games were contested at the site of the highest seed.

Like with Western Washington in 2019, the GNAC Basketball Championships will provide Central Washington the opportunity to showcase exciting changes to its home arena. Nicholson Pavilion will undergo a $55.5 million renovation over the next two years, which includes remodeling and expansion to the lobby and main gymnasium along with renovations to team rooms, the weight room and classroom spaces. It is the first major renovation of Nicholson Pavilion since it opened in 1959.

“We are extremely excited to be selected to host the 2024 GNAC Basketball Championships on our campus and in what will be the newly renovated Nicholson Pavilion,” said Dr. Dennis Francois, Central Washington’s director of athletics. “As the premier event for the conference, we hope to uphold the strong tradition of providing our basketball student-athletes and fans a great experience during their stay in our community.”

Selections of the sites for the 2023 and 2024 GNAC Basketball Championships were conducted through a bid process and approved by the conference’s Management Council and CEO Board.

This will mark the fourth and fifth consecutive times that the GNAC Basketball Championships will be held in the state of Washington. Seattle Pacific hosted the 2020 championships and Saint Martin’s will host the 2022 championships. The GNAC Basketball Championships were canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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