AAU National Basketball Championships Under Way
By Space Coast Daily // July 19, 2013
PUMPING MILLIONS INTO LOCAL ECONOMY
ABOVE VIDEO: Nikki Gwaltney of Severn, Maryland, is a team mom in town for the AAU National Basketball Championships. Space Coast Sports Promotions is hosting the AAU Boys Basketball 5th Grade National Championships which has generated more than 7,000 room nights for local hoteliers. Space Coast Sports Promotions has actively managed, operated and/or promoted a vast array of sporting events throughout the Brevard County area including the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games, Amateur Athletic Union National Championships for Boys, Girls, Mens, Women’s Basketball, Baseball and Surfing. Other events include the Special Olympics, Florida Firefighter Games, International Law Enforcement Games, Space Coast Retired Military Golf Classic, and many more.
BREVARD COUNTY• VIERA, FLORIDA — Rusty Buchanan’s Space Coast Sports currently has more than 5,000 visitors in Brevard County for the AAU National Basketball Championships, which is playing in gymnasiums across Brevard, and pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.
LOCAL PARTNERS HELP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
“All the games and venues are under way and everything is going well,” said Buchanan, president of Space Coast Sports Promotions.
“We are very thankful to Brevard County Parks and Recreation, to the Brevard County School Board and to the cities who have helped to make this possible. Without their assistance, events like this would not happen.”
The tournament involves 104 teams from 27 states including Florida, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Utah, New York, Nebraska, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Virginia.
The AAU Basketball Championships are taking place at Viera High School, Eastern Florida State College, Satellite Beach High School, Bayside High School, Heritage High School, Bethany Christian School, Melbourne Central Catholic and Ascension Catholic School.
The Division I and II opening ceremonies were held last Sunday at Viera High School.
The schedule of games at Eastern Florida State College calls for seven games a day, Monday through Wednesday, beginning at 9 a.m, nine games on Thursday and Friday, also beginning at 9 a.m., and five games on Saturday, also beginning at 9 a.m.
Eastern Florida State College’s Melbourne Campus gym is located at 3865 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.
NBA star, Jawan Howard of the Miami Heat is also on the Space Coast for the AAU Championships, watching his son’s team participate.
“This is a great event and we are very pleased to be here,” said Howard. “This is a beautiful area and is a great location for this event.”
Howard is in his 17th NBA season and has a reputation as a humanitarian for his civic commitment.
“Our local hotel and event partners really help us make it happen,” said Connie Alden, who is a long-time director with Buchanan’s Space Coast Sports Promotions.
Buchanan has extensive experience in youth sports, and as Vice President of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), he has been involved in many facets of the AAU for over 25 years.
“Our Brevard County schools and local colleges are great to work with in setting up the gyms for our visiting teams,” said Buchanan.
SPACE COAST OFFICE OF TOURISM GETS ASSIST
Key sponsors are Bright House Networks, Wet ‘n Wild water park, Universal Studios, Beef’ O’Brady’s, Savings Safari and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism is also a huge part of making these events happen.
“Without the TDC’s continued support, these events would not be coming to Brevard. Also, our super hotel partners do an incredible job to make the teams feel so at home while they are visiting the Space Coast,” said Buchanan.
“The AAU National Championship is a very prestigious event for our community to host. The visibility that the event offers the Space Coast nationally, as well as the financial impact it brings with it are both huge reasons why we are hosting the event again for the 20th straight year.
“Every time additional new facilities are brought online, we have an opportunity to bring more sports business into Brevard.”
CLICK HERE to see the story about Buchanan’s election as Vice President of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the largest amateur sports organization in the world.
CLICK HERE to see the live stream of the AAU National Championships.