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Atlantic University Sport basketball championships tip-off

The Atlantic University Sport basketball championships start in Halifax on Feb. 23, 2024. (CTV News) The Atlantic University Sport basketball championships start in Halifax on Feb. 23, 2024. (CTV News)

Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s and women’s Basketball Championships are underway in Halifax.

Dalhousie University Tigers player Jaden Parker is back in this tournament for the second straight year.

“It was the first time in a venue like this, in a venue this big. It gives you energy that you never had before,” said Parker, who along with other athletes, will be playing in front of a lot of people.

“Our average is about 18,000 (people) for the weekend,” said AUS President and Executive Director, Phil Currie.

For many fans, this is a can’t-miss weekend of basketball.

“Our family has been coming to the AUS for 30 years or more,” said Leon MacLellan. “We always have a great time here.”

The event promises to be a pressure-packed basketball showcase to cap a long season of competition.

“You have to rely on your preparation and in fact that they are ready for this moment,” said Erin McAleenan, head coach of the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds Women’s Basketball team. “Once the ball goes up, it’s just another basketball game.”

More than just the chance of win a championship, this entire weekend also offers student athletes a memorable early life experience.

“It is unreal,” said Parker. “You come here, the game starts, and you can really feel the energy in the stands. It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else.”

AUS is the only conference in the country that combines the women’s and men’s championships on the same weekend, in the same venue.

“To be able to bring student athletes into a venue like Scotiabank Centre and highlight them and their abilities on a court is amazing,” said Currie.

The event will take place all weekend in Halifax, with both the men’s and women’s championship final games scheduled for Sunday.

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