Annually, sixty-five of the nation's top Lutheran boys and girls 7th & 8th grade basketball teams compete in their state tournaments and are chosen by the Lutheran Basketball Association of America to compete for a national title. Teams from Indiana, Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, California, Michigan and Nevada traditionally descend on Valparaiso University.
This tournament, which has been hosted at Valparaiso University since 1971 has a strong following. More than 2,200 total visitors are expected to attend the tournament. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority manages the hotels for the tournament which books rooms in Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties. This event on average nets 2,400 room nights annually.
There is something extremely unique about the way Lutheran Basketball Association of America runs the tournament. LBAA does something that not too many other events do, they webcast the entire tournament live on the internet. Four games taking place at the same time throughout the tournament are filmed and streamed online for the entire world to see. This past year, more than 135,000 people from across the globe logged on to watch the action at some point. Schools will fill entire auditoriums and project their team's game on the wall for the entire school to cheer on.
The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority continues to take the tournament to the next level. The SSCVA has partnered with the Lutheran Basketball Association of America to create an event Facebook page where teams and their families can join and share their experiences while they are here. They can post pictures and video of themselves while they are enjoying all Northwest Indiana has to offer. We are also using the page to get special offers out to the visitors while they are here.
If a local business would like to be part of this program and make offers available through the event page to tournament participants and their families, contact Rick Flutka at 219-554-2726.