The Devaney Center in Lincoln will soon become the home of Husker volleyball. What does that mean for the future of the state boys and girls basketball tournaments?
State basketball and the Devaney Center is a tradition that dates back more than a generation. “I’ve been here since I was a little kid,” said Nate Israelson of Roca, Nebraska. “A lot of fun and good games here.”
“A lot of history, I remember watching a whole lot of games in here,” said Mike Bechtold of Ord, Nebraska. “I just recall games like Wahoo-Pius in 1989, you know one of the better games I've ever seen in my life.”
The Devaney Center is being turned into a volleyball venue so next year's tournament will definitely have a different look. The NSAA hopes that next year's state basketball championships will be at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Haymarket District in Lincoln, but right now plans are still up in the air.
“We have not finalized anything at this point, but we will sit down in the weeks coming and go over what the girls and boys championships will look like,” said NSAA Assistant Director Jon Dolliver. “The Pinnacle Bank brings a lot of excitement to the Huskers and to Lincoln, but also to the NSAA and the opportunities it may provide for us with the championships.”
Dolliver says the Devaney Center may still be a secondary venue for state basketball, even after becoming the home to Nebraska volleyball, but those details are yet to be ironed out.
Fans are already looking forward to watching state basketball next year at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. “I think it will be great to have it right downtown in the Haymarket,” said Bechtold. “I think it's a good fit.”
The future of the Pershing Center as a venue for the state tournament is also in doubt. Pershing is currently used as a site for many first-round and semifinal games.