San José, Calif. – In an announcement made Thursday afternoon by San José State Athletics Director Marie Tuite, the Spartan basketball programs will be leaving San José and heading to the state of Arizona to continue practices and start Mountain West play.
Each member of the men’s and women’s basketball team will continue to be tested regularly for COVID-19 while setting up its day-to-day operations at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa.
While in Phoenix, the coaches, student-athletes and staff members will be in as controlled an environment as possible while getting the opportunity to host games against conference opponents. Under Santa Clara County’s current public health directives, SJSU is unable to participate in full practices and games against outside competition.
The women’s basketball team will tip-off play in Phoenix against Utah State on Dec. 21, while the first men’s game will be on Dec. 31 against Boise State. Prior to traveling to Arizona, the Spartan men will face Santa Clara (Dec. 18 in Santa Cruz) and Utah State (Dec. 21/23 in Logan).
Additional scheduling updates will be shared as they become available.
ATHLETICS DIRECTOR MARIE TUITE
“Due to directives from Santa Clara County Health Officials, and in the best interest of our basketball programs, we will need to continue practicing and competing in Phoenix, Arizona. As we begin Mountain West Conference competition, this temporary move will allow our student-athletes and staff to live in as controlled an environment as possible. We will plan on returning to San José when the directives from our health officials allow our programs to practice and compete in Santa Clara County. Thank you to Nikki Balich of the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission and Matt King with Position Sports for assisting us as we navigate this changing landscape.”
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH JAMIE CRAIGHEAD
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to host our home contests and compete in Arizona. I want to thank our athletic administration and our University for providing us with this opportunity to move forward with our season. We are committed to giving our student-athletes the best experience they can have this year while being safe and following all of the NCAA’s COVID-19 safety protocols. We look forward to opening conference play on the 21st of December. Spartan Up!”
MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH JEAN PRIOLEAU
“We are very excited for the opportunity to relocate. I want to thank Dr. Papazian, Charlie Fass, Marie Tuite, Blake Sasaki and everyone else that played a part in helping us secure a new location to play our season.”
SR. ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS BLAKE SASAKI
“After going through a thorough evaluation process of several different cities and sites, we felt Phoenix and the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa was the safest option for our men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes, coaches and staff. I’d like to thank Executive Director, Nikki Balich of the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission and Matt King with Position Sports for their collaboration and hard work in making this all happen.”
About the Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission
The Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission (ASEC) is a non-profit organization created in 1988. The Commission collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill the mission of bringing national and international sporting events to the state; assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams; providing volunteer recruitment and organization for large-scale sporting events; and developing youth sports programs. In 2009, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games. ASEC was the founding organization and owner of the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. For more information about the Commission, call 480-517-9700 or visit www.azsportsent.com.