Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout hosted by Mesa Community College History
The vision of the Mesa Rotary Shootout was developed in 1983 by Jim Huckeba and Rev. Russ Durler, president and president-elect of Mesa West Rotary club. The two recommended that the Rotary club undertake a community service project by organizing a junior college basketball tournament. The main purpose of the tournament was to establish a competition on a national scope and have the ability to invite the best teams in the country. The Mesa Rotary Shootout started off as a sixteen-team tournament. However, in 1992, it turned to an eight-team tournament because of time restraints and growing costs.
Mesa Community College and the Mesa West Rotary Club nurtured this tournament from 1983 to 2004. This four-day event was often labeled “America’s best Junior College Invitational Tournament.” Tradition is important for junior college basketball and this tournament has been a strong Division I tournament for 21 years. The Mesa Rotary Shootout brings in the top Division I teams across the county to the Phoenix Valley. Unfortunately, 2005 would be the first year in over two decades that this once highly-regarded tournament broke from its annual schedule. After a four-year break, Mesa Community College announced that the Mesa Rotary Shootout was back. After a successful return in 2009, the Mesa Rotary Shootout has already reached new boundaries with the 2010 tournament. The Fiesta Bowl will become the shootout's official sponsor, making it the 2010 Mesa Fiesta Bowl Shootout.