When UBS Arena President of Operations Hank Abate joined me this past March 4th on my “Schwartz On Sports” podcast for New York Sports Day, I asked him about some of the other sports that we could expect to see at the Islanders’ future new home.
“I think you can anticipate that you’ll see both college basketball and college hockey,” said Abate.
In addition to the Islanders’ first game at UBS Arena, we now know when the first basketball game will be.
After we learned on Thursday that the Islanders’ first game at their new home UBS Arena at Belmont Park would be on November 20th against the Calgary Flames, St. John’s announced that they will host Kansas on Friday December 3rd in the first basketball game at the new arena that is currently under construction. The game, which is part of the Big East/Big 12 Challenge, was originally scheduled for December 2nd, but the Islanders will be hosting the San Jose Sharks that night so the basketball game was moved back a day.
Red Storm Head Coach Mike Anderson is the reigning Big East Coach of the Year and St. John’s will bring back a number of key players from last year’s team that finished 16-11. First Team All-Big East selection and the Big East’s Most Improved Player Julian Champagnie is returning along with Big East Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Posh Alexander.
This will be the 14th all-time meeting between St. John’s and Kansas and the first since the Red Storm and Jayhawks squared off in the 2000 Coaches vs Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s is 5-8 all time against Kansas and this will be their second appearance in the Big East/Big 12 Challenge having beaten Virginia at MSG in 2019.
The time of the St. John’s vs Kansas game, as well as ticket information, will be announced at a later date.