Coaches, players, fans and recruiters filled the Bicenntenial Center Tuesday because of the NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball tournament.
However, this could be one of the last years it is in Salina. Lubbock, Texas entered a bid to take the tournament from 2016-2018. It’s a tournament, the chamber of commerce estimates, that brings in $600,000.
Many coaches say they’d like the tournament to stay where it is.
“I would probably worry about the travel,” Southwestern Illinois head coach Mike Juenger said. “I’m not sure how to get there. I heard it’s not an easy place to get to.”
Playing in her home state is something that Tyler Junior College coach Trenia Tillis Jones could get behind.
“I’m a true Texan,” Tillis Jones said. “When you’re a true Texan you want it at home as much as possible.”
However she, and many other coaches, would miss the service and support they get from the host city of Salina.
“They bleed this and they make this happen,” Tillis Jones said. “It’s hard to leave that.”
The NJCAA will announce its decision at the annual meeting in the beginning of April.