September 10, 2007 by — The Badger Hockey Showdown left Milwaukee years ago and this season Marquette University will forgo its annual “Blue and Gold Classic.” So, what are we sports fans to do? How about a new basketball tournament that also includes family entertainment and youth development initiatives? has learned that a new men’s college basketball tournament will be officially announced tomorrow. Officials hope this new “Fresh Coast Classic” will become “a new Thanksgiving tradition.”

According to VISIT Milwaukee, “It’s a college basketball tournament (featuring four out-state teams) and a new tourism event that will hopefully become a holiday tradition for Milwaukee; it’s an event that exposes Milwaukee youth to college opportunities through a recruitment fair; it’s good food, entertainment, city tours and more.”

The teams involved in this Nov. 23-24 tournament include: Dillard University (La.), Lane College (Tenn.), Vorhees College (S.C.) and Central State University (Ohio). Doug Lewis, a college star at Southwest Missouri State, coaches Central State. Dillard, which canceled its 2005-’06 athletic seasons due to Katrina, is coached by Anthony Anderson. Lane features Milwaukee-star Jahi Craig and is coached by Dr. J.L. Perry.

Vorhees College is coached by Andre Williams. Lewis and Anderson are expected to be in Milwaukee tomorrow for a news conference at the Midwest Airlines Center. Tournament events will take place at the Midwest Airlines Center and Milwaukee Theatre. Milwaukee’s innovative Running Rebels program, spearheaded by Victor Barnett, will be involved in the tournament. Harley-Davidson Motor Company also is a sponsor.

As for the name, “Fresh Coast Classic?” It’s a phrase that Mayor Barrett has been using to detail Milwaukee’s location. There’s the West Coast, East Coast and since we sit on a huge body of fresh water, the mayor has coined our coast “Fresh.” Here’s an except from a recent e-mail from the mayor, “One of our greatest resources is our lakefront, and the rivers that flow into it. Responsible development of these incredible assets, what I like to refer to as our “Fresh Coast,” will help spread the message that Milwaukee is a vibrant coastal city, attract more people who want to live here, and more businesses that wish to operate here.” Not quite sure we understand it, but whatever. Wouldn’t “Brew City Classic” make much more sense?

More details about the “Fresh Coast Classic” are expected tomorrow at an 11 a.m. news conference.

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