Freedom Hall in Louisville has been host to six Final Fours and home to two national championship teams.
And on Jan. 11, it will be the home of the Barr-Reeve Vikings - at least for a little while.
The Viking basketball team has been invited to play in the Indiana-Kentucky Challenge Cup. This inaugural event will pit similar-sized schools from each state against each other for a Saturday filled with top-notch hoop action. The day will feature four boys games and one girls, as Barr-Reeve, Corydon Central, Park Tutor and Guerin Catholic, along with the girls team from Indianapolis Roncalli all have been selected to represent Indiana in this new mid-season event.
The event is slated to help raise money for both states basketball Hall of Fames and the Wounded Heroes Fund, and will rotate annually between New Castle and Louisville.
B-R coach Bryan Hughes said that he is very honored to have his team play in the event.
“It is being put on by the coaching associations of both states,” he said. “The annual All Stars game has really been tilted in Indiana’s direction for the last several years, so they thought this might be a little more competitive format.”
“It will be especially nice because Indiana and Kentucky no longer play each other on the collegiate side either” added Hughes.
The Vikings are not new to playing in major college facilities, as a Hughes-coached team played in Butler’s historic Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 2007 season and three times at Conseco Fieldhouse for the Class A state title.
“This is a great event for the community,” said Hughes. “I think it will be a lot of fun for people to come down support the team and see some great basketball in a historic facility.”
Hughes said they tried to roughly match up the schools by size, however, Elizabethtown, the team B-R will play, is actually a school of about 800 students. Their girls team will be playing Roncalli in the tourney opener, followed by the B-R match up.
B-R athletic director Aaron Ash said that it took a lot of logistics and rescheduling to free up the date, including dropping Springs Valley for a year.
“I think it will be worth all the effort though,” said Ash. “We will be playing a really tough team in a historic venue. It should be a lot of fun for everyone.”
Freedom Hall is one of the the most historic venues in college sports and was the home to the Louisville Cardinals from 1956 to 2010, and the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association from 1970 until the ABA-NBA merger in June 1976. The Cards now play in the Yum! Center.
Freedom Hall was completed in 1956 in the newly opened Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center located 5 miles south of downtown Louisville.
It was originally designed for the nation’s premier equestrian competition, the Kentucky State Fair World’s Championship Horse Show, and the floor length and permanent seating were designed specifically for the almost 300” long show ring.
One can contact the Barr-Reeve athletic office about ticket sale information.