In 1983, Rev. Eugene Bordean, the Deaf Pastor at Firestone Road Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio, was burdened to start a Basketball Tournament for the Deaf. In the beginning, the organization was called the National Independent Basketball Association of the Deaf (NIBAD). It was used as a tool to win the lost and to provide fellowship and development of Christian character in the believer.
On March 2-3, 1984, the Basketball Tournament began with teams from Rochester, New York; Riverdale, Maryland; Indianapolis, Indiana; Peoria, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; as well as a team from the host church in Canton. Riverdale came in first, Cleveland came in second, and the Canton team got third place.
In 1992, the Board members decided to change the name of the organization so that more Deaf men could be reached with the gospel. The tournament adopted a new name, the National Christian Athletic Association of the Deaf (NCAAD).
Rev. Bordean was saved in 1970 as a direct result of the sports program at Firestone Road Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio. Eugene felt sports could be a wonderful way to reach out to unsaved Deaf people. The purpose of the Basketball Tournament has continued to be evangelism and fellowship. Eugene realized Deaf people who may not attend church would be interested in playing basketball. In this way, every player and fan would hear the gospel preached during the Tournament each year. Many decisions for salvation, rededication, and reassurance have been made over the years.
Rev. Eugene Bordean, age 45, went home to be with the Lord on September 10, 1999 after a 28-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Eugene’s desire was to see Deaf people be saved, come back to the Lord, or experience a revival in their lives so they may draw closer to the Lord. Praise the Lord that the NCAAD basketball tournament continues! All honor and praise is given to God for all He has done!