EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association is set to host the 56th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21-22 at the Don Haskins Center.
The tournament opens with UNC Wilmington (2-7) facing North Dakota State (5-5) at 5 p.m. (MT) followed by a matchup between Howard (2-10) and UTEP (3-6).
“We are excited to continue all the Sun Bowl festivities with our annual basketball tournament,” said Bernie Olivas, Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association. “It’s always great to host teams from around the country and we hope the community continues to treat the visiting teams with the great hospitality El Paso is known for.”
UNC Wilmington heads to El Paso from the Colonial Athletic Conference and recently fell to Furman 90-84. North Dakota State took on No. 18 Arizona in Tucson and fell 83-53 on Monday night. Senior guard Paul Miller was the leading scorer for the Bison with 12 points.
Howard fell short against Jacksonville State on Monday, Dec. 18, losing 62-60. Freshman RJ Cole led all scorers with 27 points on 6-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. The New Jersey product also racked up seven dimes and three steals in 40 minutes of action.
UTEP faces Incarnate Word on Tuesday, Dec. 19 before heading into the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. The Miners (3-6) are coming off back-to-back quality wins over New Mexico and Washington State, but will be at less than full strength when they come off a 10-day break between games.
The WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is the oldest holiday basketball tournament in the nation. Tickets to the tournament can be purchased by calling 915-533-4416 or at the Don Haskins Center on game day.
Thursday, Dec. 21
5 p.m. (MT) – UNC Wilmington vs. North Dakota State
7 p.m. (MT) – Howard University vs. UTEP
Friday, Dec. 22
5 p.m. (MT) – Consolation Game
7 p.m. (MT) – Championship Game
Link for Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/utep/mbball/
In 2009, the tournament was renamed to honor former UTEP head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. “The Bear” coached at UTEP from 1961 to 1999, winning 719 games and making 14 postseason appearances. Haskins famously led the Miners to victory in the 1966 National Championship game over Adolph Rupp and the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats.
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EL PASO, Texas – For the second-consecutive year, the Hyundai Sun Bowl will feature one of the nation’s premier defensive lineman.
No. 24 NC State’s Bradley Chubb will look to help the Wolfpack conclude their successful 2017 campaign against Arizona State in the 84th Hyundai Sun Bowl, which is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (MT) kickoff Dec., 29 at Sun Bowl Stadium.
“We learned last year how much momentum you bring into the next season when you have a great bowl win,” Chubb said. “It’s important for the seniors to have that final victory and for the younger players to have that momentum heading into winter conditioning.”
The Marietta, Georgia native goes into the Hyundai Sun Bowl with an impressive 10 sacks, 73 total tackles and 26 tackles for loss. Chubb’s performance this season led NC State to the seventh-best defense in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the nation’s 28th-best rushing defense.
“I think the energy I bring really helps our defense, in practice and on game day,” Chubb said. “Obviously when I can make a stop in the backfield, it helps our defense, but it’s not an individual thing. The guys inside are giving me the ability to make those plays.”
It’s been an adventurous postseason for Chubb, who’s already attended three award ceremonies, on top of concluding his studies for the Fall semester. Chubb was named the Bronco Nagurski Award winner as the nation’s top defensive player and earned the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end. He was also named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Despite all the postseason accolades, the senior defensive end said he’s only focused on helping the Wolfpack to a Hyundai Sun Bowl victory.
“I’ve definitely had a lot going on in the last several weeks: going to three different awards ceremonies, studying and taking final exams and just spending time with my brothers for our final game together,” Chubb said. “But now that we only have the bowl game to think about, we will be able to give all of our attention to our preparation.”
One of the main areas of focus for Chubb and the rest of the NC State defense will be trying to contain the Arizona State rushing attack. The Sun Devils are ranked 50th in the country in rushing offense, which includes Demario Richard, the C.M. Hendricks MVP winner of the 81st Hyundai Sun Bowl.
“It all starts there,” Chubb said. “In our last two games, we held the opponent to less than 100 yards, so hopefully we can carry that over against a great Arizona State run game.”
Last year’s Hyundai Sun Bowl, included Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, who was named the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player of the 83rd Hyundai Sun Bowl, after tallying seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a crucial sack. Thomas went on to be named a third-team All-American and was the third overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Chubb appears to be on the same track, being placed as a first round pick in many mock drafts, including ESPN’s Todd McShay, who has Chubb listed as the No. 3 overall pick for the 2018 NFL Draft.
Tickets for the 84th Hyundai Sun Bowl can be purchased by calling 915-533-4416.
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EL PASO, Texas – The Spazmatics, a fun and entertaining cover band out of Austin, is set to headline the 2017 Fan Fiesta presented by El Paso Live, Thursday, Dec. 28 at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center from 4-9 p.m. (MT), with a fireworks show concluding the event.
An El Paso holiday staple since 1998, the Fan Fiesta has gained a new sponsor in El Paso Live, and the sponsor helped bring The Spazmatics on board to entertain the crowd on the eve of the 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl. The group is described as “a nerdy new wave dance party” that provides outstanding musicianship combined with creative flair and style making for an evening of pure energy and entertainment.
Admission to the event is free with a wide variety of activities planned for the party including: matachines dancers, mariachis, ballet folklorico and the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ that will feature the Arizona State marching band and the NC State marching band.
“The Fan Fiesta has really become a tradition here in El Paso and we encourage everyone to head downtown to enjoy everything the downtown area has to offer,” said Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association Bernie Olivas.
Restaurants including Forti’s Mexican Elder, Carnitas Queretaro and Delicious Burrito will be serving up signature dishes. Academy Sports’ interactive tent, along with Sports World and Hyundai Sun Bowl Apparel, are providing team gear to Arizona State and NC State fans, as well as with El Paso-themed items.
“If there is one thing El Paso is known for, it’s the amazing and delicious food,” Olivas said. “Join us down at the Judson F. Williams Convention Center for food, fun, and my favorite, fireworks!”
A kids’ area will also be set up with 18 interactive and inflatable activities. A $5 wristband is required. Military guests with a valid ID can enjoy the interactive attractions for free.
The Fan Fiesta is a way to showcase the spirit, flavor and hospitality of El Paso. Along with the various performing groups representing different artistic styles, multiple food and merchandise vendors will be on hand.
Sun Bowl Association Special Events Director Joe Daubach mentioned that the event continues to grow in popularity, and he fully expects great attendance.
2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta -Presented by El Paso Live
MAIN HALL PERFORMANCES
4:00 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. – National Anthem
4:05 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Performance by the City of Juarez
4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Introduction of the Sun Court
5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. – Performance by the City of Juarez
5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – House Music
6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. - Battle of the Bands
6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – Performance by the Spazmatics
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Performance by Paso Del Norte Mariachi
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Performance by Paso Del Norte Mariachi
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Performance by Matachines San Patricios
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Performance by Matachines San Patricios
9:00 pm – 9:15 pm – Christmas Fireworks Spectacular
PARADE OF UNIVERSITY BANDS
5:00 p.m. -5:45 p.m. – Both University Bands will march from the El Paso Convention Center around San Jacinto Plaza and Winter Fest back to the El Paso Convention Center.
Other Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta Entertainment
*FREE admission from 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
*FREE – Face painting for kids and adults
*FREE – Entertainment including Bands, Dance Groups, Mariachi Players and much more
*FREE – Ability to take picture with a Wild Western Group and Hyundai Sun Bowl Selfie Booth
Restaurants – There will be various restaurants represented with El Paso’s signature foods in the food court area to include Delicious Burrito, Destination El Paso and several others
Various Booths –Sun Bowl apparel, El Paso souvenirs, Academy Sports + Outdoors, El Paso Times, Simon Properties, Sport World Sporting Goods, Sun Metro and several interactive displays and many other vendors
The Sun Bowl Fan Fiesta will COMP all military children under 12 a $5 wristband. This will allow unlimited entries to all the inflatable/interactive games. You must present your Military ID at the inflatable games ticket tent to receive the wristband.
EL PASO, Texas – Time is a flat circle. In 2014, when No. 15 Arizona State came to the Hyundai Sun Bowl, the Sun Devils were riding high and capped off their 9-3 season with an exhilarating 36-31 win over Duke. In a game filled with offense, one Arizona State player shone brighter than any other.
Demario Richard, senior running back for Arizona State, was on that 2014 team as a freshman looking to make his mark. Richard earned the C. M. Hendricks MVP Award, annually given to the Sun Bowl’s most valuable player after scoring four touchdowns in the contest.
“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to start here my freshman season and then cap it off with the final game of my career,” Richard said. “It’s cool to have a chance to start and finish in the same place and I’m excited to play on national television.”
Richard and the Arizona State Sun Devils make their return to the Sun City to play in the 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl. The 2017 season for the Sun Devils (7-5, 6-3) saw several different offensive players find success as they had three different players with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage.
A 2017 Pac-12 Honorable Mention from Palmdale, California, Richard led the Sun Devils in rushing yards in 2017 with 977 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 185 attempts, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Not only did the senior establish himself as the workhorse in the backfield, but he was a valuable asset as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Richard averaged 9.3 yards per catch, totaling 65 yards on 7 catches. Combined, Richard amassed 1,042 all-purpose yards.
His freshman year, Richard had an impressive 478 rushing yards from scrimmage on a total of 84 attempts, good for an average of 5.7 rushing yards per attempt for the 2014 season. He had a total of four touchdowns on the entire year in that 2014 campaign, yet he matched that same total of four touchdowns during the Hyundai Sun Bowl, making that Sun Bowl performance all the more impressive.
“I’m going to try and go out and do it again and blow the game open,” Richard stated determinedly. “It’s about winning the game. I’m going to do whatever it takes to win this game.”
Four touchdowns by the same players had only happened three times in Sun Bowl history prior to Richard doing it in 2014. You’ll find that the company that Richard keeps is pretty impressive.
Sun Bowl Legend Thurman Thomas was the first to accomplish the feat during the 1987 Sun Bowl when Thomas and his Oklahoma State Cowboys defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers. Thomas was the lead running back on the legendary Buffalo Bills team that went to four straight Super Bowls during the early 1990s. Thomas was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007.
The next to achieve the lofty goal of four touchdowns in a single game was none other than Sun Bowl Legend Priest Holmes. Holmes led the University of Texas to a 35-31 victory over the University of North Carolina in the 1994 Sun Bowl. Holmes had one of the most impressive 10-year careers of any running back in the NFL.
The last player to score four touchdowns in a game is a much more recent name. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw and ran for two touchdowns apiece as he led the Bruins to a 42-12 romp over the Virginia Tech Hokies. Hundley started three games for the Green Bay Packers in 2017 in relief of the injured Aaron Rogers
“It’s an honor to be part of that list of names,” Richard stated.
Richard hopes to etch his name in the record books forever as one of the all-time Sun Bowl greats.
“It’s one last game with my brothers. We’re going to go all out,” Richard said. “I’m excited to play with these guys one last time. It’s my last day as a Sun Devil and I want to go out with a bang. It’s exciting to have a chance to play in just one more game.”
Richard is bookending his illustrious Sun Devil career by coming back to the Hyundai Sun Bowl as he hopes to lead his team to another Hyundai Sun Bowl victory. Arizona State kicks off against No. 24 NC State in the 84th Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 29, 2017 at 1 p.m. (MT) at Sun Bowl Stadium.
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EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association and Hyundai of El Paso have announced that Las Cruces police officer turned country singer, Frank Ray, is scheduled to perform during halftime of the 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl on Friday, Dec. 29 in El Paso, Texas.
Frank Ray, from Las Cruces, N.M. will perform at halftime of the match-up between Arizona State and NC State. He was recently featured in Rolling Stone magazine in an article titled “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: December 2017.”
“It’s great to have another regional up-and-coming star from the Borderland region,” said Executive Director of the Hyundai Sun Bowl Bernie Olivas. “Mr. Ray also has a great story as he was a police officer in Las Cruces, N.M.”
The Hyundai Sun Bowl is featuring a Borderland-halftime performer for the second year in a row after Elia Esparza and Khaliya Kimberlie performed in 2016. In 2014 Lone Star performed in front of more than 47,000 fans. The Andress High School Band, out of El Paso, teamed-up with the UCLA and Virginia Tech bands, to put on a show in 2013, as Three Dog Night performed at the 2013 Fan Fiesta.
Lee Bryce worked the crowd of about 48,000 fans in 2012 and the Sun Bowl Association is expecting at least that many fans to support Frank Ray this year. Other notable halftime performances include the Village People in 2008 and Rhianna in 2006.
Ray released his first solo EP Different Kind of Country earlier this year. A Hispanic-American, Ray sings about the Hispanic experience in the United States. The lead single from his EP “Every Time You Run” is currently 20th on the Texas Regional Radio Report.
“It’s an absolute honor to get to end the year in front of such a massive crowd. It gives me an opportunity to represent my community but also serves as a symbol of continued success for my team and my family," said Frank Ray. “I’m humbled to have been given the opportunity by the great representatives of the Sun Bowl.”
Ray plays shows from Albuquerque, N.M. to Austin, Texas. He has appeared in both El Paso and Las Cruces as well.
The 2017 Hyundai Sun Bowl game will be played Friday, Dec. 29, at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) at Sun Bowl Stadium.
The 2017 game will mark the 84th anniversary of the Sun Bowl game and the 50th consecutive broadcast on CBS. This year’s game features No. 24 NC State out of the ACC and Arizona State from the Pac-12. Tickets are available by calling the Sun Bowl Association office at 915-533-4416.
Find out more about Ray through his social media outlets (below).
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