Individuals and organizations have found new methods to cope throughout this new norm of COVID-19. While the pandemic has caused the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) basketball to change its annual tournament, it has not cancelled it.
The CIAA is offering Virtual Vibe – the first time in the tournament’s 76-year history that the tournament will be onlineThe event, which is scheduled to take place Feb. 23-27, will mark the tournament’s annual celebration of basketball, sports and culture. The CIAA states on its website, “The legacy lives on.” The website also states, “We are thrilled to be able to create this virtual tournament-week experience, which will be one-of-a-kind for an NCAA athletic conference, at any level, to engage our fans, alumni, students’ member institutions, and partners.”
The event will not have any live basketball, but it will feature games from the CIAA basketball playback series. Comedians B. Simone, Darren Brand and Burpie will be offering a collection of new events, including an Old School/New School DJ Battle presented by Sprite. The tournament will also feature the CIAA Esports Tournaments presented by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, a high school education day hosted by the U.S Army, a Career Expo and a cheer competition.
The tournament will come to an end with the virtual step show on Saturday.
For basketball players, the virtual tournament – which follows a cancelled basketball season – is a letdown. “Not being able to get any stats” is the biggest disappointment for Aaliyah Williams, a member of the women’s basketball team. Williams, a sports management major, hopes to continue her basketball career in graduate school but will have a hard time doing that without anything to show from her senior year.
Nia Cornegy, a senior criminal justice major, is trying to look at the bright side. “Holding a virtual tournament still gives those who are interested an opportunity to participate and it also gives seniors one last tournament before they graduate,” she said.
Marquie Clemonts, a member of the men’s basketball team, feels that the setback has inspired him to work harder for the next upcoming season. Clemonts said he is “curious” about the virtual event and may check it out.
This year is the first year the tournament was supposed to be in Baltimore, after many years in Charlotte, N.C. The CIAA remains in good spirits and expresses on their website, “We can’t wait to welcome CIAA athletes and fans to Baltimore as soon as it’s safe.”
To register for the event, visit theciaa.com. If you are on Instagram, you can register by clicking on the link on their page @ciaasports.
The schedule of events goes is as follows:
Tuesday, February 23:
10 A.M.- 2 P.M. – High School Day
2 P.M.- 4 P.M.- NASA HBCU/Minority-Serving TBD- Speaker Series
Wednesday, February 24
10 A.M.- 2 P.M.- High School Education Day
1 P.M.- Cash & COVID: Money moves in a Crisis)
3 P.M.- 4:30 P.M.- Preserving the Whole You- Mental Health Series
7 P.M.- 10 P.M.- Charm City Welcome Reception
Thursday, February 25
10 A.M.- 2 P.M.- Career Expo
10 A.M.- 11:30 A.M.- COVID-19 The Next Chapter
3 P.M.- 4:30 P.M.- #FinancialGoals
6 P.M.- Fan Fest- Throwback Thursday
Friday, February 26
10 A.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series (Bowie State vs. Lincoln University MB)
10 A.M.- John B. McLendon Hall of Fame
12 P.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series (FSU vs. VSU WB)
12 P.M.- Women’s Empowerment Brunch2 P.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series (VSU vs. Shaw MB)
4 P.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series ( ECSU vs. VSUMB)
6 P.M.- Fan Fest -DJ Battle/ national recording artist
Saturday, February 27
9 A.M.- UFIT’s High School Cheerleading Championship
1 P.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series (FSU vs. Bowie State)
1 P.M.- 2 P.M.- CIAA Esports Symposium
2 P.M.- CIAA NBA 2K Esports Tournament
3 P.M.- CIAA Basketball Playback Series (FSU vs. WSSU)
6 P.M.- CIAA Virtual Step Show, Institution Engagement Workshop.