NCHSAA basketball title games to be played at high school venues

With college arenas unavailable because of the coronavirus pandemic, next month's title games will be played at Providence Grove and Wheatmore high schools

Coaches and administrators are hopeful, but concerned about high school basketball being played in NC this season (AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)

For the first time since 1981, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will hold its state championship basketball games at high school gyms this year.

The NCHSAA announced Thursday that the Randolph County School System has agreed to host next month’s title games will be played at Providence Grove and Wheatmore high schools.

The decision was made because of the unavailability of college venues such as North Carolina’s Smith Center and NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum because of the coronavirus pandemic. The NCHSAA hasn’t played its championship games at high school facilities since moving to Greensboro Coliseum and Elon University 40 years ago.

“We are grateful to the Randolph County School System and the administrations at Wheatmore and Providence Grove for their willingness to host our championships during these challenging times,” NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said in a statement. “We are looking forward to working with Dr. (Stephen) Gainey and the Randolph County School System to make this year’s State Championships a truly memorable experience for everyone involved.”

Spectator attendance will be limited for the 2021 Basketball State Championships. The schedule, including which classifications will be assigned to a specific site, will be determined and announced later.

“These events will be great opportunities to highlight our outstanding facilities and personnel while providing a championship-level experience for the student-athletes and teams that advance to these state championships,” said Gainey, Superintendent of the Randolph County School System and NCHSAA Board of Directors member.