Penn State will play a Big Ten men’s basketball game at the Palestra for the second time when the Nittany Lions take on Iowa on Jan. 4, according to the conference schedule released Friday.
The game will match two head coaches from Philadelphia: the Nittany Lions’ Patrick Chambers (Philadelphia University) and the Hawkeyes’ Fran McCaffery (Penn), who played there from 1980 through 1982. Chambers took the Lions into the legendary facility in 2017 and defeated Michigan State, 72-63, on Jan. 7.
The Penn State roster includes six players from the Philadelphia area, including two seniors, Lamar Stevens (Roman Catholic) and Mike Watkins (Math, Civics and Sciences, Phelps School), who played in the Michigan State game. The others are junior John Harrar (Strath Haven), sophomores Izaiah Brockington (Archbishop Ryan) and Kyle McCloskey (Germantown Academy), and freshman Seth Lundy (Roman Catholic).
“We are incredibly excited to be back in the most historic gym in college basketball — The Palestra," Chambers said. “We felt it was important to bring Big Ten basketball back to Philadelphia, especially with six of our current players from the area, and largest alumni base in the region.”
McCaffery also expressed enthusiasm at returning to his former home court.
“We’re excited to go there and play in that facility of a packed house,” he said in a news release. “This will be a great opportunity in a great atmosphere.