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Diamond Head Classic

Hoops Island Style 

Basketball, beaches and a break from work - these are a few of my favorite things (and maybe yours, too!). So, here we are in November, wondering what we are going to do for the holidays – and here is a great answer: the 3rd annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament.

So if you are going to dream, why not dream big and head for the incredibly beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu over Christmas. The University of Hawaii hosts a Division I men’s basketball tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center with games December 22, 23 and 25, 2011 (the tourney is ESPN Regional TV owned and operated).The Center holds 10,300 fans and you can get tickets ahead of time, either package deals or individual game tickets – just check the Diamond Head Classic website.

The 2011 field of teams is varied and strong, including Auburn from the SEC, Clemson from the ACC, Hawaii from the WAC, Kansas State from the Big 12, Long Beach State from the Big West, Southern Illinois from the MVC, UTEP from the CUSA and Xavier from the Atlantic 10. Six of these teams saw post-season action last year, so the competition is going to be strong!

T he 12-game tournament kicks off with Hawaii vs Auburn, UTEP vs. Clemson, Kansas State vs. Southern Illinois and Long Beach State vs. Xavier. Each team will play a game on all three days, so there’s no worry your favorite will be eliminated! The two teams who advance unscathed will meet at 5:00 pm on Sunday, December 25, to determine the tournament's champion. The inaugural year’s champ was Butler, with USC reigning supreme last year.

The University of Hawaii at Manoa campus is conveniently located in Honolulu, close to everything. As a matter of fact, it’s only about two and a half miles from the Stan Sheriff Center to world-famous Duke’s Waikiki, right on picturesque Waikiki Beach in the middle of all the action (that you have heretofore only watched on television). December’s weather averages a high of 82 and low of 67, so you can definitely break out the speedo, shorts and sandals for this sunny destination – but bring a light jacket or sweatshirt in your team colors, as evening breezes can cool things off a bit.

Building a family vacation around the Diamond Head Classic is easy! First, the beaches of Honolulu will entice even the moodiest of teens to want to go along with the family. Second, the upscale shops and traditional marketplace in Waikiki are sure to keep your better half happy. And third, you will be happy as a clam, attending fabulous basketball games featuring first-rate talent. Plus, the games are spaced out so you will have plenty of time to go back and forth from your hotel, eating at great restaurants and hanging on the beach for a while with the whole family. This vacation is a win-win!

While visiting Honolulu, the not-to-be missed attractions include Diamond Head, the Pali Lookout, the North Shore (world-famous surfing), Pearl Harbor…the list just goes on and on. And don’t let the Caribbean-loving naysayers fool you, Oahu is stunningly beautiful. Check our Honolulu City Guide for all the information you need about local attractions, where to go and what to do. If you can spend more time on this getaway, why not plan a side trip to one of the other Hawaiian Islands such as Maui or Kauai? Each island has its own flavor and the mountains, valleys, waterfalls and gardens never disappoint. offers everything you need to plan a great trip – why not surprise your family this holiday with a vacation everybody will enjoy?

With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For the Diamond Head Classic, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book a Honolulu HI hotel and air package deal. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Honolulu HI Discount Hotels at the lowest prices. Choosing a Honolulu HI hotel near Stan Sheriff Center is a great choice, with the venue close by. If you are budget-minded, check out our Honolulu HI Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.

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