FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Lutheran Basketball Association of America (LBAA) is returning to Fort Wayne Thursday for their national tournament.

The tournament consists of 64 teams stepping between the lines, much like March Madness, with a mix of boys and girls. Local teams are participating from schools such as Concordia, Emmanuel St. Michael, and St. Paul’s.

This is the 75th annual tournament hosted by the LBAA. The tournament has always been held in the Midwest, most recently in Valparaiso.

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Visit Fort Wayne helped propose local venues and won the opportunity to be the host city for the tournament since last year.

“We are honored to welcome back the LBAA’s prestigious tournament and look forward to welcoming their teams to Fort Wayne,” said Jazmin Zavala, Sports Sales Manager at Visit Fort Wayne.

The teams arrive in Fort Wayne on Thursday, and tournament games will last until Sunday. Students from outside the Midwest will also play in the national tournament. This includes states such as California, Colorado, Florida and Texas.

The event is anticipating an attendance of more than 3,000 visitors from across the nation.  

“We are excited to celebrate our 75th anniversary with a new logo, signs, backdrops, and swag for the teams,” said Rob Gasser, President of LBAA. “We are thankful for the great support from the Fort Wayne community that has graciously volunteered their time for the event.”

The tournament will be held at the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone. The opening ceremony will be held at the Concordia Theological Seminary on Thursday at 5 p.m. before the games begin on Friday.

For more information on the national tournament, you can visit the website for the LBAA.