Two of college basketball's most recently successful programs stand united in opposing prejudice, bigotry and racism as the Liberty and Winthrop men's basketball programs will come together for an exhibition game in an effort to bring awareness to our united pursuit of equity and inclusion. The exhibition game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Winthrop Coliseum.
"We are excited to partner with Winthrop University in a game that we hope raises support for many causes that could hopefully support those that are disadvantaged," Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay said. "We know how competitive of a program Coach Kelsey and his staff have built in Rock Hill so this is a great game for our young team to be afforded an opportunity to play. We will have to see what restrictions there are in late October but hopefully this game will be a benefit to our different campuses and communities."
Liberty has participated in exhibition games in the past in order raise financial support. The Flames hosted Virginia Tech in 2018 in a Hurricane Relief exhibition, which raised over $36,000. In 2017, the Flames traveled to VCU to raise money for the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The Flames were able to pull off the 85-69 win over the Rams.
Liberty and Winthrop were two of the 13 teams that had qualified for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, before being cancelled due to COVID-19. Liberty posted a school-record 30 wins, capped off by a win in the ASUN Championship over Lipscomb. Winthrop won a share of the Big South Regular Season title, capturing 24 wins and defeated Hampton in the Big South Championship.
"Coach McKay has been a friend and a mentor for a long time. He is a special person. To be able to partner with him and his program for this special cause is awesome," Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey said. "Racism is a systemic problem in our country that needs to be eliminated. This game is a way to create a platform for the coaches, players and students from Liberty and Winthrop to make a difference."
Ticket information will be released at a later date.