SANTA BARBARA, Calif.- Westmont's basketball teams won't get the chance to play in the 2020 NAIA National Basketball Championships, despite qualifying with high seeds.
The NAIA announced today that all winter sports championships have been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus threat.
"Effective immediately, all remaining NAIA winter championship events will be canceled, including those that are currently underway," said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr in a statement released today.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, as well as all involved in our championship events, is the NAIA's highest priority," continued Carr. "We will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and NAIA leadership will work closely with our member institutions to determine the best path forward for future NAIA events, including all spring 2020 championships."
Yesterday, the women's basketball team was seeded as the number one team in the tournament for the first time in program history. With the cancellation, however, the Warriors will not get a chance to play as the top-seeded team.
The women's team ends the season with a record of 27-3 and as the top-ranked team in the NAIA. Westmont won both the Golden State Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships.
Head coach Kirsten Moore was named the GSAC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year. Maud Ranger, Lauren Tsuneishi, Iyree Jarrett and Stefanie Berberabe were all named to the All-GSAC Team.
The men's program was named a number two seed yesterday and the seventh overall seed in the tournament. It was the highest seed the Warriors have enjoyed since the tournament went to its current format.
The Warrior men compiled a record of 26-5 and won the GSAC Regular Season Championship.
Head coach John Moore was named the GSAC Coach of the Year. Abram Carrasco was named the GSAC Player of the Year. Carrasco and Justin Bessard were named to the All-GSAC team.
The Golden State Athletic Conference has announced the suspension of athletic competition through Thursday, March 26 in light of coronavirus concerns. The suspension goes into effect immediately.
The step was taken to protect the health and safety of student-athletes and the campus communities associated with the GSAC. The conference and its 10 affiliated institutions will continue to monitor the situation. A determination will be made within two weeks regarding whether or not it is safe to return to competition after the March 26 date.
This action coincides with Westmont College's decision to institute remote instruction beginning on Monday, March 16 and to restrict access to communal and residential living spaces. More information about Westmont's actions to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff can be accessed at: https://www.westmont.edu/node/23563.
The suspension of GSAC games has an immediate effect on Westmont's spring sports. Baseball will not play its scheduled games at Vanguard this weekend or host Arizona Christian on March 20 and 21.
Men's and Women's Tennis will not host Hope International tomorrow or make its road trip to Hope International and San Diego Christian next week.
Decisions regarding non-conference athletic events for all spring sports will be made in the coming days.