PHOENIX, Arizona - With the NMSU Aggies unable to play games in the state of New Mexico, NMSU has found a temporary home among a conference rival.
The city of Phoenix will officially serve as the home base for four Western Athletic Conference (WAC) basketball teams in 2021.
The Grand Canyon University Antelopes and the NMSU Aggies.
Both the Aggies' men's and women's basketball teams will begin their respective WAC seasons by playing their designated league home games on the campus of Grand Canyon University.
The men's squad is set to start its slate of WAC home games at GCU's Antelope Gymnasium while the Aggies' women's basketball team will begin its WAC home schedule at GCU's Canyon Activity Center.
The Aggie women's basketball team's first WAC home games of 2021 are set to take place on Friday-Saturday, Jan. 8-9, 2021 while the NM State men's basketball team's first WAC home games are set for Friday-Saturday, Jan. 22-23, 2021.
In all, the Aggie men's basketball team may play a maximum of six WAC "home" games in Phoenix while the NM State women's basketball team may play their entire 2020-21 WAC home schedule (eight games) on GCU's campus.
Both of NMSU's basketball teams have relocated out-of-state for the 2020-21 season as a result of in-state COVID-19 restrictions in New Mexico which make practicing or playing games at the Pan American Center impossible.
"While we would love to be practicing in Las Cruces and preparing to play in the Pan American Center that is not the reality we are currently dealing with," commented NM State director of athletics Mario Moccia.
"Our men's and women's basketball staffs and Deputy AD Braun Cartwright reviewed a multitude of venues in and around the Phoenix area and Grand Canyon University's facilities worked best for us."
"I would be remiss if I didn't express my gratitude and that of Aggie Nation's to GCU President Brian Mueller, Interim VP of Athletics Jamie Boggs and her entire staff for making this happen," continued Moccia. "To have our rivals open their facilities to us when we needed it speaks volumes of GCU's character."