Drexel Women’s Basketball joins the Big 5 | The Triangle

Drexel Women’s Basketball joins the Big 5

Photo by Kasey Shamis | The Triangle

The Philadelphia Big 5 Athletic Directors announced that Drexel’s Women’s Basketball team will be joining the Big 5 on Thursday morning. The directors also announced that the Women’s Big 5 Classic tournament will be a tripleheader series, like the Men’s Big 5 Classic tournament played in December 2023.

The implementation of a Women’s Big 5 tournament has been discussed since the initial revitalization of the Big 5 that happened last year. With the success of the inaugural Big 5 Classic, the involved six universities and Big 5 partner Comcast were eager to expand the format to the Women’s programs.

This upcoming Women’s Big 5 Classic tournament is set to take place at the Finneran Pavilion on Villanova University’s campus on Friday, Dec. 6, 2024. Tickets for the tournament are scheduled to go on sale June 17.

According to a press release sent by Comcast Spectacor on Thursday morning, Drexel Director of Athletics Maisha Kelly commented on the breaking news. “Drexel University is honored for our women’s basketball program to officially join the Philadelphia Big 5,” she stated. “The support, collaboration, and uniqueness of the Philadelphia Big 5 are unmatched. Aligning with our five fellow institutions only strengthens the visibility of women’s basketball in this city. We are eager to participate in an official capacity this upcoming season having competed with many of these institutions in non-conference play regularly. This inclusion is another step towards advancing our brand, when coupled with the sustained success the program has had, both regionally and nationally.”

The Women’s Big 5 team format will be set up into two pods with three teams in each. Temple University, La Salle University and Drexel University are grouped into the first pod and Villanova University, Saint Joseph’s University and Penn are grouped together into the second one. The pods are set to remain synchronized for women’s basketball and rotate on a yearly basis to other sites that will be determined later.

Each team will play the other two teams in their respective pods with one game being held on each school’s campus. These two games will be used to determine seeding for the Big 5 Classic, where the two winners of the pods will face off for the Big 5 championship while the other four squads compete for third and fifth place.

Later on Thursday, Subir Sahu, Drexel’s Senior Vice President for Student Success, sent an email on the news stating, “We are honored and excited that Drexel Women’s Basketball is now a member of the storied Philadelphia Big 5, as the six Philadelphia Division I women’s basketball institutions have partnered to write a new chapter in the city’s basketball history.”

Fresh off of a CAA Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, Drexel Women’s Basketball will be well positioned to compete for the Big 5 Championship this season and continue building upon the program’s reputation of success within the city.