By Sammi Carpenter
Staff writer

Around 25 million people are subscribed to ESPN+, which means around 25 million people have access to watch the NJCAA basketball tournaments this year.

In 2022 the NJCAA and ESPN made an agreement which allows for NJCAA to be streamed on an ESPN network.

“Beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, ESPN+ will exclusively stream eight NJCAA football games that include the NJCAA DI Football Playoffs and NJCAA DIII Football National Championship, the NJCAA DI Men’s Soccer Championship semifinals and final, NJCAA DI Women’s Soccer Championship semifinal and final, NJCAA DI Volleyball Championship placing matches and final, NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship tournament, NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball Championship tournament, NJCAA DI Baseball World Series, and NJCAA DI Softball World Series beginning with the quarterfinals and second round of the elimination bracket,” the NJCAA stated on an article posted in 2023.

Before being broadcasted on ESPN, they were shown on CBS Sports. With being broadcasted on ESPN, student-athletes may have more visibility than they did before.

“The NJCAA takes pride in the opportunity to showcase the association’s student-athletes on premiere national platforms such as ESPN+ and ESPNU,” said McKenzie Charest, NJCAA Director of Marketing and Communications. “The NJCAA is excited to showcase the top basketball talent in the association to a national audience.”

Both HutchCC basketball teams made it to their respective national tournaments. The men’s tournament started Sunday at the Sports Arena. The women’s tournament started Wednesday in Casper, Wyo.

“I feel like it’s good for exposure for us since the tournament is pushed a week back from normal,” Blue Dragon men’s player Valentino Simon said. “I feel like it’s better for the people who can’t make it out here and want to watch because it’s also treated like a normal high level game on any other espn no matter the level and it gives us a opportunity to showcase our skills nationwide. I do have friends and family waiting for the tournament and it brings great joy into their lives knowing that they got a chance to watch me play on ESPN.”

Blue Dragon women’s player Akaysha Muggeridge from Rockhampton, Australia said she enjoys how the tournament is being broadcasted on ESPN+.

“My family and friends from back home and in the states are able to watch the game and they do say they like that it is broadcasted on ESPN+ because it is easier to watch.” Muggeridge said. “I do like that the games and tournaments in general are more accessible for people to watch because it creates a bigger audience for the athletes to play in front of.”

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