Since 1933, the Section 1 high school basketball championships have been held at the Westchester County Center. In a press release on Monday, Section 1 officials announced that the 2017-18 championship games would be held at the Goldstein Center at Pace University instead. The new venue is about half the size of the County Center, which was just recently improved with the upgrading of locker room facilities, scoreboards, and flooring. The new and improved mecca of high school basketball championships, will not be touched by Section 1 athletes this year. As of now, the semifinal venues are yet to be determined.
In the press release Jen Simmons, Director of Interscholastic Athletics, said, “Every year we assess how to best serve student-athletes competing for a championship. This move allows us the opportunity to offer top-notch facilities, a central location and a collegiate atmosphere unmatched in the region.”
For each of the past 84 years, the idea of playing in the illustrious County Center in front of family and friends has been at the forefront of every high school basketball player´s mind. Taking the floor on Westchester´s biggest stage was something they all dreamed of and an experience like no other for those lucky enough to make it there. Many coaches and players have expressed their discontent and disappointment in the decision.
Senior captain, Jake DiGiansante offered his thoughts on the matter as one of only a handful of current Blind Brook players to have experienced the County Center atmosphere. “ I think it’s ridiculous that the playoffs were yanked out of the County Center and a tradition was crushed, but no matter where they are, we will be there!”
“It is tough to think of any place in Westchester County as synonymous with championship-level high school athletics as the County Center,” added Blind Brook Athletic Director DJ Goldman. “It is a venue where students all over the country dream about playing or watching these amazing contests. I hope that the Section Office continues to evaluate decisions about championship venues that are going to be best for the student experience.”