SANTA ANA - Over the weekend of September 26 and 27, the Santa Ana College women's basketball team hosted 24 California community college teams in a non-traditional season tournament. Using three courts, the group of teams from both southern and northern California played four games apiece as they prepared for the upcoming 2015-16 season.
The two-day tournament allowed opportunities for teams to gauge their players and their opponents while also introducing the new rules the sport is facing in game situations. Along with the on-court action, there was an official's clinic that helped educate officials, coaches and players alike of the new rule changes. Following each game, teams would go to a nearby classroom for breakout sessions that covered the rules and interpretations.
"It really helped bridge the gap between officiating, playing and coaching," said Flo Luppani, Head Coach of the women's basketball team at SAC.
Another highlight of the tournament was that it fell during the NCAA recruiting window, allowing four-year coaches to see student-athletes who are competing at the California Community College Athletic Association level. There were approximately 40 coaches in attendance ranging from Division-I, Division-II, Division-III and NAIA.
"The exposure we can get our players at an early time of the season is extremely valuable," Luppani said. "To put them live in front of four-year college coaches is huge."
Luppani went on to say that the tournament was a success and that it took a team effort to make it happen. She acknowledged the work of her own team to put on the event as well as SAC's athletic trainers.
"We're grateful for the support we got from our department to have this event," Luppani said. "We knew it was going to be a good thing, we just didn't know how much of a good thing it was going to be. It was pleasantly surprising the rave reviews it got and the benefit that came for the game, for California community college, and for Santa Ana College."