Yankton is getting a piece of the Hoop City Classic pie.
Yankton will host the first day of the Hoop City Classic on Dec. 28, 2020, event director Ernie Kuyper confirmed to The Daily Republic on Tuesday.
The Corn Palace and Sanford Pentagon will still remain as host sites in 2020, but by adding another site, Kuyper said it will continue to evolve the event.
“We are just excited to keep growing the classic in South Dakota,” Kuyper said. “It’s always been our goal to show off South Dakota basketball and also show the national teams what South Dakota is about. I think Yankton is only going to help us with our mission from the beginning.”
Kuyper said Yankton was chosen because of power forward Matthew Mors, who will be a senior next season. The University of Wisconsin commit recently scored his 2,000th career point and the Bucks are currently No. 1 in Class AA.
“We just thought it would be a great atmosphere for South Dakota basketball,” Kuyper added.
Kuyper said Yankton will host five or six games on Monday, Dec. 28. He anticipates South Dakota teams and national teams playing in Yankton.
The rest of the event will shift to Mitchell and Sioux Falls on Dec. 29-30. The Corn Palace and the Pentagon will both host games on Tuesday, Dec. 29, with the Wednesday, Dec. 30 games only being in Mitchell.
Kuyper said Yankton is on a one-year term and will evaluate after that.
“We are going to see how it goes and how the support goes,” Kuyper said. “It may be something that we look at for the future to look at other venues around the state to show off South Dakota basketball, if it makes sense.”
The Corn Palace has been a host site for each of the first 10 classics, while the Pentagon has hosted games since 2015. But Kuyper reiterated the addition of Yankton does not impact Mitchell and the Corn Palace.
“First it was the Mike Miller Classic and now the Hoop City Classic,” Kuyper said. “Mitchell is always going to be the staple.”
Kuyper added he’s in the process of lining up teams and working on matchups. He anticipates the schedule being finalized in May.