Press release provided by Winthrop University
ROCK HILL, SC - Two of college basketball’s most recently successful programs stand united in opposing prejudice, bigotry and racism as the Liberty and Winthrop men’s basketball programs will come together for an exhibition game in an effort to bring awareness to our united pursuit of equity and inclusion. The exhibition game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Winthrop Coliseum.
“Coach (Ritchie) McKay has been a friend and a mentor for a long time. He is a special person. To be able to partner with him and his program for this special cause is awesome,” Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey said. “Racism is a systemic problem in our country that needs to be eliminated. This game is a way to create a platform for the coaches, players and students from Liberty and Winthrop to make a difference.”
Liberty and Winthrop were two of the 13 teams that had qualified for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, before being cancelled due to COVID-19. Liberty posted a school-record 30 wins, capped off by a win in the ASUN Championship over Lipscomb. Winthrop won a share of the Big South Regular Season title, capturing 24 wins and defeated Hampton in the Big South Championship.
“We are excited to partner with Winthrop University in a game that we hope raises support for many causes that could hopefully support those that are disadvantaged,” said McKay, who led the Flames to a 30-4 record in 2019-20. “We know how competitive of a program Coach Kelsey and his staff have built in Rock Hill so this is a great game for our young team to be afforded an opportunity to play. We will have to see what restrictions there are in late October but hopefully this game will be a benefit to our different campuses and communities.”
The idea of this type of event was recently discussed by Winthrop student-athletes and staff in a Town Hall meeting, for which it received full support as part of Winthrop Athletics drive toward racial equality. Winthrop’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will choose from an eligible list of non-profits later this year for which donations by Winthrop will go.
Ticket information will be released at a later date.