Defending Champion Overseas Elite, Baltimore’s City of Gods, Bradley’s “Always A Brave,” University of Colorado Alumni Team Advanced From A National Field Over The Past Three Weeks
WHAT: Semi-finals of “The Basketball Tournament,” a $2 million winner take all event that started with 64 teams from all over the country.
WHERE: Fordham University’s Rose Hill Gym, Bronx, NY
WHEN: Semi-finals Saturday at 5 and 7 (live on ESPN) -- Winner Take All Final Tuesday August 2 at 7 pm (Live on ESPN)
WHO: #2 seed Overseas Elite (South Champion) -- Defending Champions, never lost, 11-0 in two years of TBT. Familiar names include: DJ Kennedy (St. John’s), Kyle Fogg (Arizona), Errick McCollum (brother of Portland star C.J.), Myck Kabongo (Texas), Paris Horne (St. John’s), St. Joseph’s alum Todd O’Brien, and South Carolina’s Jhondre Jefferson.
#1 City of Gods (Northeast Champion) -- City of Gods features a number of players with Baltimore ties on their roster, including former Georgetown Hoyas Chris Wright and Michael Sweetney, (Knicks lottery pick), George Washington University alumni Lafonte Johnson, Lasan Kromah, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Maryland alumnus James Gist, Drexel alum Phil Goss, Temple alum David Hawkins, James Wright and Dermarr Johnson from Cincinnati, Xavier Silas from Northern Illinois and Omar Strong from Texas Southern. City of Gods is coached by long-time NBA and International pro development coach Joe Connelly III, a Morgan State grad and brother of Phoenix Suns Asst. GM Pat and Denver Nuggets GM Tim. Probably their best-known player is Mensah-Bonsu, who played in the NBA for two-plus seasons with the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, and played overseas for several years.
#9 Always a Brave (Midwest Champion) -- Lowest remaining seed in TBT. Always A Brave advanced out of the Midwest Regional in Chicago and the Super 16 in Philadelphia. The squad, which is primarily the reunited squad from Bradley University that advanced to the Sweet 16 in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, overcame #6 seed Golden Eagles Alumni (a Marquette alumni squad), 89-81 in the Super 16 nightcap Saturday night in Philadelphia. Coached by retired Bradley assistant coach Chuck Buescher, Always A Brave’s roster includes Bradley 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 alumni players Tony Bennett, Jeremy Crouch, Will Franklin, Phillip Gilbert, Patrick O’Bryant, Daniel Ruffin, Matt Sally and Marcus Sommerville, plus later Bradley alumni Walt Lemon, Sam Maniscalco and Andrew Warren, and Indiana alumnus A.J. Guyton.
#5 Team Colorado (West Champion) -- Team Colorado advanced out of the West Regional in Los Angeles and the Super 16 in Philadelphia. Team Colorado won over #7 seed Team Utah, 83-78, Saturday night in Philadelphia. All 11 players and coach Dwight Thorne II are alumni of the University of Colorado, including Dominique Coleman, Austin Dufault, Marcus Hall, Marcus King-Stockton, Levi Knutson, Jayson Obazuaye, Marcus Relphorde, Richard Roby, Scott Senger, Shannon Sharpe and Calvin Williams.
ABOUT TBT: Conceived by CEO Jonathan Mugar as the ultimate opportunity for fans, athletes and social media mavens to live out their dreams and chase once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, TBT is a high stakes sports/media event that is changing the way people consume professional sports. In its first two seasons, The Basketball Tournament drew over 400 team entries and over 100,000 participating fan entries from around the country. Participants range from professional players and recent college stars to pickup basketball players and fans who have never even played the game. Among the event’s advisors are Tony Ponturo of Ponturo Management Group, Andy Dolich of Dolich Consulting, and Len DeLuca of Len DeLuca & Associates, LLC.
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