Hurricane Maria and the devastating damage caused to Puerto Rico has caused college basketball to relocate one of its first tournaments of the season.
On Thursday, ESPN announced the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip-Off has been relocated to Myrtle Beach.
The tournament was originally set to be played at the Coliseo Municipal Tomas Dones in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, but games will now be played at the HTC Student Recreation and Convocation Center on the campus of Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, S.C.
“The aftermath of the hurricane has caused an immense hardship to the island, and our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico during this difficult time,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of college sports programming and events.
“We are hopeful to be able to return next year to Puerto Rico, where our teams have enjoyed the warm hospitality and rich culture of Puerto Rico for nearly a decade.”
Teams participating in the tournament are Appalachian State, Boise State, Illinois State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan.
“On behalf of our entire University, we are pleased to assist in providing a location for this season’s Puerto Rico Tip-Off,” said Matt Hogue, director of athletics at Coastal Carolina. “Most importantly, we continue to send our prayers and support to the island of Puerto Rico and look forward to our friends in the Caribbean rebuilding and resuming the hosting of their tournament. We welcome the participating teams and student athletes here in November and look forward to providing them a quality experience.”
Games will be played Thursday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 19.