Saturday, Dec. 16 at 8:15 PM








Paul Skenes to Speak at 2023 Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner


SHREVEPORT, La. (Aug. 22, 2023) – A staple event for the Independence Bowl Foundation is back on Tuesday, October 3 at the Shreveport Convention Center, as College World Series Most Outstanding Player and 2023 first-overall pick in the Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, Paul Skenes, is set to be the featured speaker at the 2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner.

In his one season in the LSU Baseball program, Skenes racked up the hardware, helped lead the Tigers to their seventh National Championship in program history, and positioned himself to be taken No. 1 overall in the 2023 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He received a record-setting signing bonus from the Pirates.

“I am honored to be speaking at the Independence Bowl kickoff dinner!” proclaimed Skenes. “I am proud to be at an event that supports the people of the great state of Louisiana and our military. I am looking forward to seeing you all there and raising money for Folds of Honor.”

The annual Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner featuring Paul Skenes is set for Tuesday, October 3 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for a cocktail hour; dinner buffets will open at 6:15 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. with a Q&A to conclude.

Individual tickets to the event are on sale for $50 apiece, and a table of eight is $400. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318.221.0712 or toll-free at 888.414.BOWL. 

The Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl will be running a social media campaign leading into the event to help raise money for Folds of Honor – a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of military and first responders who have passed or been disabled. During his 2023 season at LSU, he pledged $10 for every strikeout he recorded to Folds of Honor and has raised over $50,000 for the organization to this point.

“Paul [Skenes] and the LSU Baseball team rallied our state around them this past season, and we are so excited to hear that story and his own personal journey,” said Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters. “His story is so interesting, and everything he represents and his work with the military embodies what the Independence Bowl Foundation is about. We look forward to welcoming him to Shreveport-Bossier and enjoying a great event with him.”

After transferring to LSU from the Air Force Academy, Skenes went 13-2 with a 1.69 earned run average (ERA) and struck out an SEC single-season record 209 batters in 122.2 innings. His accomplishments did not go unnoticed, as he was named the Dick Howser Trophy Winner, National Player of the Year by D1 Baseball and Collegiate Baseball, SEC Pitcher of the Year, National Pitcher of the Year by the ABCA, College World Series Most Outstanding Player and a consensus First-Team All-American, among other recognitions. Skenes became just the second LSU player to win the Dick Howser Trophy, awarded to the country’s best NCAA Division I player.

A California native, Skenes began his collegiate baseball career at Air Force, earning first-team All-America recognition during his freshman and sophomore seasons in 2021 and 2022. He also received the 2022 John Olerud Award as the best two-way player in college baseball. In 2021, he was voted as the National Co-Freshman of the Year by Collegiate Baseball alongside his future LSU teammate, Dylan Crews.

Skenes is the second consecutive non-football player to speak at the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Kickoff Dinner – following LSU Women’s Basketball head coach Kim Mulkey – further demonstrating that the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl represents more than just a football game. The annual Kickoff Dinner is the final public event of the year before bowl week – following community events such as the Youth Football Clinic, 1st & Give Charity Flag Football Tournament, Annual Member Crawfish Boil, Fish N’ Football and others. 

The 47th edition of the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl is set for Saturday, December 16 at 8:15 p.m. between the Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference. Tickets will go on sale starting Tuesday, September 5. Endzone Bench, Sideline Bench and Sideline Chairback tickets will all be available to the public at Great ticket packages – including group tickets, Family Four-Packs, Small Business Fan-Packs and premium options – are available online or by calling the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318.221.0712 or toll-free at 888.414.BOWL.

For more information on the 2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl or the Kickoff Dinner featuring Paul Skenes, call the office or email [email protected].

Fans can plan their trip to Shreveport for the 2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl at


Established in 1976, the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl™ is college football’s 11th most-historic bowl game – celebrating its 47th edition on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 8:15 p.m. CT with a matchup of the Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference on ESPN. The Independence Bowl Foundation announced a one-year extension with Radiance Technologies – ensuring they will be the title sponsor through 2025. The bowl’s conference, team, and television agreements also run through the 2025 season. Army West Point and the Big 12 are slated to match up against a rotation of the Pac-12 Conference, American Athletic Conference and Conference USA, which will be televised on an ESPN network.

The Independence Bowl Foundation is prevalent in the Shreveport-Bossier City area throughout the year, hosting events to help enhance the economic impact and growth of our community. The Mission of the Independence Bowl is to attract and provide quality, nationally recognized football competition oriented to the Ark-La-Tex region. For more information, visit or follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @IndyBowl.

Independence Bowl Foundation

P.O Box 1723, Shreveport LA 71166  |  401 Market Street, Shreveport, LA 71101  |  318.221.0712

2023 Independence Bowl