Sept. 22, 2016
The creation of PK80 — Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball tournament honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday, will take place over Thanksgiving week in 2017 from Portland, Ore. One of the largest regular-season tournaments in college basketball history, sporting a field featuring some of the top schools in the nation, will be played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26, from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Participating schools include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
“On behalf of the 16 schools participating in PK80, we are honored to be highlighting Mr. Knight’s contributions to college basketball,” said Clint Overby, vice president, ESPN Events. “The strength of the field coupled with the two venues in Portland set the stage for what should be an exciting weekend.”
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to host 16 of the country’s best college basketball teams while honoring a man whose influence on the game and our region is immeasurable,” said Chris Oxley, senior vice president of venue operations, Rose Quarter. “PK80 will be an incredible showcase of basketball for fans in our arenas and watching on ESPN.”
Two eight-team events — consisting of three games per team — will run simultaneously in the two buildings with the crowning of two bracket champions. All games from Portland will be televised on ESPN networks.
Ticket information and tournament bracket will be announced at a later date. PK80 was created on behalf of the schools and is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, in conjunction with the Rose Quarter.
Participating Coach’s Quotes
“We are thrilled to be part of the PK80 basketball tournament in Portland next season. The Nike brand has had an enormous impact on collegiate athletics. Being part of such a prestigious event that honors Mr. Knight was very important to The Ohio State University.” — Ohio State head coach Thad Matta
“We are excited to join one of the largest regular season basketball tournaments ever created to honor Phil Knight and his many contributions to college athletics,” Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. “Phil has been instrumental in growing and promoting our sport throughout the world. We are proud of our partnership with Nike and look forward to competing against other nationally recognized programs in this exclusive event.” — Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson
“Just as we are to wear the Nike swoosh on our uniforms, Butler is honored to be part of the PK80 event. Nike is a great partner, and we are excited to join some of college basketball’s most successful programs in Portland next year. This is arguably the greatest collection of teams to come together for an in-season tournament, which is also a testament to Phil Knight, the company he built, and the relationships he has cultivated over the years. He is an icon in the sports industry and we look forward to celebrating his 80th birthday.” — Butler head coach Chris Holtmann
“It’s an honor to be included in this prestigious group of college basketball programs and to get the chance to participate in an event as exciting as the PK80. The level of competition, as well as the college basketball atmosphere, will make it a tremendous experience for everyone involved, especially the student-athletes. After all he’s done for college basketball, there is no more appropriate way to help Phil Knight celebrate such a special birthday.” — UConn head coach Kevin Ollie
“Phil Knight has been a visionary and an innovator for a long time. PK80 is a unique way we can honor him and the contributions he has made not just to the game of basketball, but to all of sport.” — Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski
“What a great way to celebrate Phil Knight and all that he and Nike have done for college basketball and the Florida Gators. We’re excited and honored to be part of this field that features so many excellent programs.” — Florida head coach Mike White
It’s exciting to be a part of this tournament. It is a privilege to be involved in an event that honors Phil Knight. Mr. Knight has not only been pivotal figure in college athletics, but he has been a driving force in the entire sports industry. We are proud to participate in an event that celebrates him. — Georgetown head coach John Thompson III
“This going to be an awesome event. It’s an honor for us at Gonzaga to be part of this tournament and an honor for me to be in it. Nike has been a huge part of my life since I was in the second grade and got my first basketball shoes. It’s cool that this tournament is in the Northwest, and the teams that are in the field are going to make it a first-class event.” — Gonzaga head coach Mark Few
“We’ve been fortunate to play in some incredible preseason events, but we’ve never been a part of something this amazing — both in terms of quantity and quality of the teams. This is sure to be an incredible experience for all the student-athletes. It’s only fitting to pay tribute to a one-of-a-kind man with a one-of-a-kind event. Phil Knight has revolutionized modern day fitness, while setting the gold standard for shoes and apparel, not just in basketball, but across all other sports and activities as well.” — Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
“What a thrill for North Carolina Basketball to be playing in such a special event to honor a truly special man. PK80 not only brings together some of the top basketball programs in the game, it honors a giant in business and sports. Mr. Knight has a wonderful ability to touch people’s lives and do great things, both in and out of the sports world. I’ll always cherish my friendship with him.” — North Carolina head coach Roy Williams
“We are honored to be included in the impressive field of teams selected for this event. I can’t imagine a more fitting way to celebrate the legacy of Phil Knight and what he has done for college athletics and the game of basketball.” — Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger
“This will be one of the finest tournament fields ever assembled and it is an excellent way to celebrate Phil Knight. He has done so much, not just for the University of Oregon, but all of college basketball. We are honored to be a part of the PK80 tournament.” — Oregon head coach Dana Altman
“We are very excited to welcome the elite of college basketball to the city of Portland for this landmark event. To be asked to participate in the greatest regular season college basketball tournament of all time is a special honor for the University of Portland. Phil Knight and Nike have contributed so much to the growth of college basketball and impacted so many individual student-athletes in a positive manner. We are privileged to be able to say thank you to Phil by helping to host and showcase this event, as well as our great city, to a national audience via ESPN next year.” — Portland head coach Terry Porter
“The PK80 may be the best regular season college tournament ever assembled. To have Portland State’s name a part of that is very exciting. We look forward to going out and competing against some of the best programs in college basketball.” — Portland State head coach Tyler Geving
“We are honored to be a part of this very exciting experience in Portland. We look forward to celebrating the positive impact Phil Knight has had on the game and his connection to Stanford as an alum of the Graduate School of Business and benefactor of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. This event is a great opportunity to showcase Stanford among the nation’s elite programs.” — Stanford head coach Jerod Haase
“We are very appreciative of our relationship with Phil Knight and Nike. Obviously, this relationship has grown tremendously over the last decade with Nike’s support of Texas and Kevin Durant and provided so many benefits for our student-athletes and UT as a whole. We are really excited about the opportunity to participate in the PK80 event in Portland next Thanksgiving and to be able to compete against such a great field of quality opponents.” — Texas head coach Shaka Smart
Established in 1995, the Rose Quarter is a 30-acre sports and entertainment district located on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The region is highlighted by two multi-purpose arenas, the 19,393-seat Moda Center and 12,888-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Together, the venues serve as homes to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and AFL’s Portland Steel, in addition to a wide variety of concerts, family shows and other events. Founded in 1970 and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988, the Trail Blazers are the foremost resident of the Moda Center after winning the 1977 NBA Championship at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Widely known for its innovative approaches to sustainability and environmental practices, the Moda Center earned LEED Gold Recertification in 2015 after becoming the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold status in 2010. The Rose Quarter also includes a large commons area, annex office building, four parking garages, signature restaurant and bar Dr. Jack’s, and easy access to the city’s robust public transportation system. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit rosequarter.com.
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.