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updated: 12/27/2011 5:54 PM

Men's and womens teams hope to get recognized, earn scholarship

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Basketball players from community colleges across the region will show off their talents at next month's inaugural Illinois Skyway Tip-off Classic at Elgin Community College.

Men's and women's basketball teams from the eight member schools of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference will participate in the two-day event Jan. 7 and 8 in the Spartan Events Center. Games start at noon and tickets are $3 for adults and children younger than 12 are free.

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The men's tournament will take place Saturday and the women's tournament Sunday. Organizers said four games will be played each day. The conference consists of ECC, College of Lake County, McHenry County College, Moraine Valley Community College, Morton College, Oakton Community College, Prairie State College and Waubonsee Community College.

"The intent was to showcase the talent this conference has to four-year institutions that are recruiting," said Bob Fairbank, chairman of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. "Hopefully we can help market players to four-year institutions to finish their education."

Initially, the conference sought to find a location that could accommodate a men's and women's game at the same time. But none of the eight schools could fit the bill. ECC has space for two courts, but seating would only be available for one court. In order to set up dual courts, Fairbank said the conference would have to rent a facility.

"Elgin is a nice facility and it is a big facility," Fairbank said. "We decided for the first year that it would a good place to go."

For information and schedules, go to skywayconference.com.

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