Herkimer College selected as site for 2023 NJCAA basketball tournament

Jon Rathbun
Times Telegram

Add men's basketball to the growing list of national championship events hosted by Herkimer College.

Following last week's Board of Regents meeting in North Carolina, the NJCAA announced that the Division III men's basketball championship will be contested in Herkimer March 14-19, 2023.

The announcement makes Herkimer's Generals the hosts for a national tournament in each of the three athletic seasons during the 2022-23 academic year. Herkimer is scheduled to host Division III women's soccer in the fall of 2022 with the men playing at Genesee Community College in Batavia. Herkimer will stage the Division III softball tournament at Carrier Park in Syracuse for the third time in the spring of 2023.

Derrick Felder cuts a net following the Herkimer College Generals' win over Mohawk Valley Community College in the NJCAA's 2019 Region III Division III championship game. Felder was named Mountain Valley Conference, Region III and national player of the year for leading the Generals to their second national championship that season.

"Herkimer is grateful to the NJCAA for being selected as the host institution of the 2022-23 NJCAA Division III men's basketball championship," Don Dutcher, the school's director of athletics, said in a release. "We will take great pride in providing an exceptional experience for the student-athletes, coaches, families, friends and community involved with the tournament. It is a unique opportunity for Herkimer to be part of the national spotlight in showcasing a high-level basketball tournament."

Herkimer, which added a national championship in a seventh team sport — baseball — last month, becomes the third New York school to host the tournament which started when the NJCAA went to divisional play for men's basketball in 1991. The Generals won the first Division III tournament at SUNY-Delhi in 1991 and added a second national championship in 2019 under current coach Matt Lee.

The tournament was played at Delhi for the first 20 years then moved to the Sullivan County Community College campus in Loch Sheldrake through 2016. The tournament returned to Loch Sheldrake for one year in 2018. The Generals won the 2019 championship in Rochester, Minnesota, and received a wild card bid to the 2020 tournament there. Herkimer also earned a wild card bid to the 2022 tournament in Rockford, Illinois.

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A New York team has been a finalist at four of the last five national tournaments, including Herkimer in 2019 and runner-up Mohawk Valley Community College at the following year's hurried tournament. The region has won 11 championships but Herkimer owns the only title since 2007.

The women's tournament was played in Troy, Corning and Utica 1992-2008 and returned to Utica most recently with Mohawk Valley hosting in 2017.

Herkimer was the host school for men's national soccer tournaments at Wehrum Stadium in the spring and fall in 2021, and has been the host school for the softball championships in Syracuse the last two springs. The campus has been the site for numerous national soccer and lacrosse tournaments for men and women.

This will be the school's first time hosting the national championship for a winter sport.