PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Gulf Coast men’s and women’s basketball teams will make their ESPN debut next week.
Gulf Coast’s double-header with Tallahassee Community College on Wednesday, January 18, has been selected as the NJCAA Game of the Week and will be aired on ESPN+.
The NJCAA struck a deal with ESPN this summer to air JUCO national championship games on the ESPN linear network and select regular season games on ESPN+.
Gulf Coast Athletic Director Mike Kandler said while this is the first time ESPN has covered junior college basketball in Panama City, it probably won’t be the last.
“As long as our programs stay strong, which they will, because that’s just the caliber of coaching we have and how hard they work, I think we’re giving them an opportunity to possibly do these things every year, maybe more than once a year,” Kandler said. So again, it’s a big deal, this isn’t a little deal, this is a big deal that we’re going to get national exposure. And as people are going through their TV, looking at ESPN+, they might see Kansas against Wichita State, they might see this and that, but they’re definitely going to see Gulf Coast against Tallahassee Community College.”
The Gulf Coast women’s team is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation and the Gulf Coast men’s team is ranked No. 8 in Florida.
Before hosting TCC on January 18, the commodore will visit their rival Chipola in Marianna on Saturday, January 14.