UGA Basketball

Georgia hoops will play in major basketball showcase in 2019

Georgia men's basketball head coach Tom Crean.
Georgia men's basketball head coach Tom Crean. Georgia Sports Communications

Georgia will take part in the 2019 Maui Invitational, the tournament announced Tuesday afternoon.

This will be the first time the Bulldogs have ever appeared in the hoops showcase. The Maui Invitational, hosted by Chaminade, began in 1984 and has seen 124 schools make the trip since its inception.

"I think any time you have an opportunity to play in the Maui Invitational it's a great honor for your program," Georgia head coach Tom Crean said in a statement. "It will be exciting to take our Georgia program there and to have our fans in the Bulldog Nation be part of such a special event. Any time you're in Maui, you know you are going to be severely tested three straight days. It's an incredible opportunity for your team."

The other teams slated to appear in the 2019 Maui Invitational, which will take place from Nov. 25-27 in two years, are BYU, Dayton, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia Tech.

While Georgia has never been to the Maui Invitational previously, it has appeared in four tournaments (1987, 1996, 2001 and 2007) in Honolulu. This will mark the second year in a row Georgia will travel off of the mainland for a holiday showcase. This coming season, the Bulldogs will take part in the Cayman Islands Classic in November.

While Georgia has never been to the Maui Invitational, Crean has participated in the tournament two prior times. He went with Indiana in 2015 and with Marquette in 2007.

"What you learn right away is that you've got to go in there with mid-season to late-season toughness, execution, perseverance and energy because that's what everybody else has," Crean said. "The atmosphere is second to none when it comes to the way the tournament is run, whether it's the music, whether it's the public address announcer or whether it's the way the fans treat you. It prepares your team for so many things that you will see throughout the season. It is an absolute marathon inside of three days to see where your team can go."

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