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In 2019, Penn men's basketball will take on a few top-tier programs in the Wooden Legacy tournament.

Credit: Eric Zeng

They’re going to Cali.

Shortly after the conclusion of this year’s Paradise Jam, Penn men’s basketball announced that it will be one of eight teams taking part in the 2019 Wooden Legacy late next November and early December in Anaheim, Calif. Penn is guaranteed to play three games at the event, regardless of the results.

Joining the Quakers will be Arizona, College of Charleston, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, Providence, UCF, and Wake Forest.

The Wooden Legacy, named after legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden, has been hosted in Anaheim every year since 2013, following a merger between two separate early-season tournaments. Past winners include blue blood programs Michigan State and UCLA. The Ivy League has also participated in the tournament, most recently with Harvard in 2017.

“We are excited and proud to be a part of the Wooden Legacy, which honors a legendary figure in college basketball and sports in John Wooden,” coach Steve Donahue said in a press release. “This will be another great early-season event for our program, like the Gulf Coast Showcase last year and the Paradise Jam this year. The Wooden Legacy is a great opportunity for us to showcase our program with three highly competitive games that will air on national TV through ESPN.”

This will mark the Quakers’ third early-season tournament event in as many years. Last season, the Red and Blue took part in the Gulf Coast Showcase, winning two of three games. This past week, Penn played in the Paradise Jam, winning its first game before falling in the final two.

Since the Quakers have played in multiple tournaments over the past few years, the Wooden Legacy will not count as an NCAA-exempt event. Ivy League rules, which allow teams to play 30 games in a season, stipulate that teams can play in two of these tournament-style events every four years. The three games during the Wooden Legacy will be a part of Penn’s 27-game schedule.

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