Maui Invitational Returning To Lahaina Civic Center Following Deadly Fire In 2023

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — The Maui Invitational is returning to the Lahaina Civic Center for the first time since wildfires devastated the area and killed 101 people.

The tournament will be played Nov. 25-27 after being shifted to Honolulu earlier this season.

“As a long-standing community partner, we are looking forward to welcoming the Maui Jim Maui Invitational back to Lahaina,” Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said in a statement on Thursday. “We appreciate their unwavering support and sensitivity in navigating this difficult time and appreciate their commitment to bringing this much anticipated event back to Maui’s community.”

The deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century devastated the historic town of Lahaina on Aug. 8, with thousands of residents losing their homes and most of the downtown area burned to ashes. The death toll rose to 101 this month when the remains of 76-year-old Paul Kasprzycki were identified. Two people are still missing.

The Lahaina Civic Center was spared by the flames, but officials opted to shift the Maui Invitational to Oahu. No. 2 Purdue beat No. 4 Marquette in the title game.

The 2024 Maui Invitational includes top-ranked UConn, No. 7 North Carolina, No. 10 Iowa State, No. 13 Auburn and No. 16 Dayton. Colorado, Memphis and Michigan State round out the field.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball