By Mary Cunningham
It takes a lot for college basketball to make news in July — let alone Penn State basketball.
But catch this:
The Nits will host Michigan State at the Penn Palestra next Jan. 7.
The game is likely a recruiting effort by coach Pat Chambers to showcase Penn State’s program to the breeding grounds of great talent in Philly.
Penn State’s dominant 2016 recruiting class includes Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens and Nazeer Bostick all hailing from Roman Catholic in Center City.
Chambers played college ball and later took an assistant position at Philadelphia University before assisting Villanova’s Jay Wright.
The Palestra was built in 1927 and has hosted more games than other college arena in history. It underwent an extensive renovation in 2000 to add a museum.
The outing will be the first time that Michigan State will play at the Palestra during coach Tom Izzo’s 21-year tenure.
“They all tell me I’ve got to get to the Palestra,” Izzo told the Detroit Free Press in 2014. “One of these years, I’m gonna be dumb enough to do it.”