U SPORTS announced Thursday that the University of British Columbia (UBC) will host the women's and men’s basketball championship Final 8 tournaments at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre and War Memorial Gym in March 2025.
It will mark the first time in U SPORTS history that a single university will play host to both the women’s and men’s Final 8 basketball tournaments, all on UBC’s Point Grey campus, located within the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.
These will be the 36th and 37th U SPORTS national championships hosted by UBC and the City of Vancouver, but the first where the Bronze Baby, emblematic of U SPORTS women’s basketball supremacy, will be awarded.
The WP McGee Trophy will be hoisted for the third time in Vancity after UBC captured the 1972 championship in the War Memorial Gymnasium and Carleton University raised the trophy in 2016 at the Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre.
“U SPORTS is thrilled to partner with UBC to bring both the women’s and men’s Final 8 to the west coast,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer. “Building upon the successful 2020 joint Final 8 championships in Ottawa, we are excited to come to Vancouver in 2025 because the city has some of the best university sports supporters in Canada. From John Mills pouring in 27 points to capture the 1972 men’s basketball title in front of a full house at the War Memorial Gym to this year’s women’s volleyball championship, UBC has an amazing track record of hosting U SPORTS national championships. We know that fans and athletes will have a memorable experience during the 2025 Final 8s.”
Vancouver is an innovative, creative, and multicultural destination where the ocean, forest, and mountains converge. The city and UBC have solidified themselves as a world-class destination for sport events through the successful hosting of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in addition to the 2025 Invictus Games and 2026 FIFA World Cup. U SPORTS and UBC look to build on this legacy of hosting excellence and expertise to make the 2025 Final 8s more than just a sporting event for participants, fans, and partners alike.
"On behalf of UBC, it's an honour to host both the 2025 U SPORTS women's and men's basketball Final 8 championships," said Kavie Toor, Managing Director of UBC Athletics and Recreation. "There is such a strong basketball culture throughout the Lower Mainland. Our focus is on showcasing this premier event while creating an unforgettable experience for all Thunderbird supporters, our passionate alums, our industry partners and our valued community. We look forward to celebrating talented and dedicated student-athletes from across the country in a unique way on the biggest stage.”
UBC teams have captured 16 championships on home court since 1972, with the most recent coming in the pool in 2019. Both Thunderbirds basketball programs hope to tap into that magic to bring home more hardware in 2025.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our student-athletes to have the chance to compete at home for the Bronze Baby,” said second-year Thunderbirds women’s head coach Erin McAleenan. “We are excited to showcase the elite level of student-athletes competing in U SPORTS basketball to fans in Vancouver and the greater BC basketball community. We hope this tournament will inspire the next generation of students to become future Thunderbirds and U SPORTS student-athletes."
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host the 2025 Final 8s,” commented long-time UBC men’s head coach Kevin Hanson, who leads all current U SPORTS men’s basketball coaches with 515 wins. "To showcase the top eight teams in the country is a privilege for us. It provides a great opportunity for our local basketball community to see the best teams in the country play live. We are looking forward to a magnificent event.”
U SPORTS and UBC will unveil the 2025 basketball Final 8 logo and title sponsor in the coming weeks.