Las Vegas is the home of the best in Women’s Basketball – the WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces. Turns out Las Vegas is also the home of the worst women’s basketball tournament potentially ever held.
The “Las Vegas Invitational” run by Destination Basketball featured several teams from throughout the country including Auburn, Indiana, Memphis and more. It was clear from the jump this was not going to be women’s sports finest hour.
The event was being held at The Mirage. “Oh, The Mirage has an arena?” you may be asking. No. No they do not. Insert the “Fyre Fest” of basketball.
It’s time for basketball in Vegas! No. 6/5 Indiana (5-0) takes on Auburn (3-1).— Austin Render (@AustinRender) November 26, 2022
Tip will be later than scheduled. Likely sometime between 6:15-6:30. Check us out on @WHCC105 and https://t.co/PNIlo97ABn. And oh yeah, the stream is free! #iuwbb pic.twitter.com/viqbnAZMAn
Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a ballroom. Seating? Grab a chair and find a spot. Ladies, need towels to wipe off your sweat? Bring one down from your room – they reportedly were not provided. Yeah, an absolute disaster. But wait – it gets worse.
Auburn’s Kharyssa Richardson took a hard hit to the court in what appeared to be a neck injury. Were EMTs standing by? No. Turns out the event didn’t fork up the money to have emergency personnel standing by, and Richardson had to wait over 40 minutes to arrive and tend to her. The tip-off was delayed, a woman’s life was potentially in jeopardy, and this was the result.
Las Vegas Invitational (WBB) update:— Tyler Springs (@TyphoonSprings) November 27, 2022
Memphis-Indiana tip-off delayed by a serious injury in the prior game between Auburn & Colorado State to Auburn player Kharyssa Richardason.
The wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive at The Mirage is now over 40 minutes. pic.twitter.com/yOkUoQj6S9
Who is to blame for this disaster?
Now, it’s worth noting this isn’t MGM’s fault. The owners of The Mirage simply booked the ballroom, but were not responsible for the event itself.
The organization behind the event, Destination Basketball, gets a double technical for taking down their website and Twitter account. The teams taking part were allegedly told they would be getting a set up like this one, which it turns out they only had the court. Nothing to go along with it.
Other women’s basketball games were taking part throughout the city at suitable venues. This, however, was an unmitigated nightmare. Yes, women’s basketball doesn’t get the attendance that men’s basketball does – for whatever reason. That said, women athletes deserve far better than this.