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Loretto grabs top 10 slot on national “Best Cities for Basketball Fans” list

March 18, 2019 Tags: Athletics , Distinctions

The #LorettoLoyal know that 2019 has been a great season for Division I NCAA Basketball. Both the SFU Men’s and Women’s teams have set Northeast Conference records inside the DeGol Arena of the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center and on the road.

Loretto PA Number 10 top cities for basketball fansWhat they may not know is that the exceptional level of play this year, combined with contagious enthusiasm from #RedFlash fans, landed Loretto, Pennsylvania a number 10 spot on the national list of “Best Cities for College Basketball Fans.”

 Loretto sits in the Top 10 of more than 280 cities & towns hosting D1 NCAA teams. To find 2019’s hot spots for NCAA hoops, WalletHub crunched the numbers using nine key metrics including: number of teams per city, the ratio of winning percentage to stadium capacity, and social-media engagement. The methodology reinforces that the SFU approach to fostering talent in a small setting pays off. 

BB Flash Points of Pride

Below are a few reasons why the 2018-2019 season is one for the record books:

  • Fans #PackedDegol to watch the SFU MBB team make a valiant run for the 2019 NEC Championship title.  This is the second championship game in three years after a 25-year drought of title play.
  • Rob Krimmel became SFU's first head coach to win the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honor.
  • Keith Braxton became just the second SFU MBB player win NEC Player of the Year, the first since Flash legend Mike Iuzzolino in 1990-91.
  • The SFU WBB came into the season as 2018 NEC Champs. WBB has earned a spot in championship title play seven times in the last 12 years.
  • Part way through the 2018-2019 season, senior guard Jess Kovatch became the all-time leading scorer in both University and NEC WBB history. She broke Jess Zinobile’s previous mark of 2,338 points. Kovatch also took home NEC Player of the Year for the second-straight year. She is only the fourth player in NEC history to receive the award in back-to-back years.
  • Jess Zinoble ‘00 returned to DeGol arena in February to witness her jersey hung alongside those of legends Maurice Stokes, Norm Van Lier, and Kevin Porter. Zinobile is an inductee of the Northeast Conference Hall of Fame and SFU Athletics Hall of Fame. She is perhaps the most honored women's basketball player in Northeast Conference history. Among her many achievements, she was selected as the NEC 20th Anniversary Most Valuable Player and to the 25th Anniversary all-time team. She was a two-time NEC Player of the Year in 1997-98 and 1999-00 who led the Red Flash to four NEC championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances.