Basketball in Columbus

Home to the 2024 DIII Women's Basketball Championship and 2027 Women's Final Four, Columbus is rich in hoops history.

Fast Facts | Local Teams | Notable People | Venues | Timeline | Blogs

Major Events Hosted

Future Events

NCAA Women’s Final Four

Two overtime thrillers and a buzzer-beater decided the 2018 Final Four. We're running it back in 2027.

Men's March Madness

Nationwide Arena has hosted the First & Second Rounds of NCAA Men's March Madness fives times since 2005.

The Basketball Tournament

In 2020, TBT brought 24 teams to Columbus for the first ‘bubble’ sports event during the pandemic.

Fast Facts

  • Columbus hosts the NCAA Women's Final Four in 2027.
  • Columbus native Georgeann Wells became the first woman to dunk in an NCAA game when she did it for West Virginia University in 1984.
  • The city of Columbus is home to 20 NBA players over the league’s history. Of those 20, seven stayed in Columbus to play collegiately at Ohio State University. Three Columbus-born players have played in the WNBA.
  • Columbus has the third-most boys participants in high school boys & girls basketball despite being the seventh-largest state
  • Capital University, in Bexley, Ohio on Columbus’ east side, is home of back-to-back national championships for NCAA Division III women’s basketball. The first time the feat was accomplished.


Local Teams

The team started play in 1965, coached by women’s sports pioneer Phyliss Bailey. Two of the top 10 winningest coaches in NCAA women's basketball history coached the Buckeyes – Tara VanDerveer and Jim Foster.

The Buckeyes have made 11 Final Fours and won the NCAA Championship in 1960. Notable players include Jim Jackson, Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek, Greg Oden, D’Angelo Russell, Scoonie Penn, Michael Redd Evan Turner and Mike Conley, Jr.

Although the league only lasted two and a half years, the women’s pro team won the only two league titles, led by Central Ohioan Katie Smith. Many stars from the Quest moved to the WNBA after the league folded in Dec. 1998.

If you want a taste of professional basketball, the Columbus Condors are your team. The Condors play just outside of the city, in Westerville. Since 2016, the Condors compete against other teams from across the country in The Basketball League.

Dixie Jeffers

She won 741 games and two DIII titles (1994 & 1995) during a 30+ year run as women's basketball head coach at Capital University

John Havlicek

"Hondo" helped OSU win a national title then won eight NBA championships and made 13 All-Star teams with the Boston Celtics.

Katie Smith

The Buckeyes star went onto win two ABL championships with the Quest, then became a top 25 WNBA player of all time.

Jim Jackson

Named Ohio Mr. Basketball twice before winning Big Ten Player of the Year for the Buckeyes. Played in the NBA for 14 years.


Several Columbus high schools assemble girls teams, just six years after basketball was invented


Ohio State’s men’s team begins playing

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