For some NBA fans, the summer is the most exciting time of the year, especially if your team is rebuilding. You can’t help but get excited about where the ping-pong balls may fall for the upcoming NBA Draft. You then get to take a sneak peak at your team’s rookies in action during the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues. We often get to see our favorite NBA players play in charity events and prestigious summer leagues as well.
However, there is one thing we haven’t seen on the summer pro basketball circuit. We have yet to see NBA caliber talent mixed with some of the D-League and Euro-League’s top talent, duking it out for a summer paycheck. That is, until now.
This June, basketball players from all over the world will travel to Philadelphia for a shot at half a million dollars in The Basketball Tournament. Almost 200 teams have entered and only 32 will get to compete. From NBA veterans to D-III All-Americans, every player will have their shot at winning their team 500k.
The first four rounds will be conducted over the weekend of June 6-8 at Philadelphia University with the two finalists playing in a location decided by the fans on June 28.
In anticipation of this event, we’r taking a look at five reasons why you must be in attendance come June 6:
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Aquille Carr has been sharpening his tools in preparation for this Summer’s NBA Draft in NYC and this event should be the beginning of a very busy summer for the electric point guard. We’ve all seen what he can do on the big stage after averaging 11 points per game in just 13 minutes of D-League action this season and this event should be one where he can perfectly showcase his playmaking and scoring abilities before the draft.
Carr will be paired up with another explosive guard in the backcourt for Rep Your City in Tony Gallo, who at Coppin State averaged 21 points and 4.5 assists against top 25 ranked opponents.
The same team that ruined all of our brackets during their remarkable 2010 NCAA run looks to make another unforgettable run as the Cornell Sweet Sixteen enter TBT. Cornell will be once again led by former Ivy League Players of the Year Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale, while getting some interior help from 7-0 center Jeff Foote of the NBA D-League.
In the backcourt for DMV’s Finest are Georgetown alum Chris Wright and Austin Freeman. Wright made headlines last season when the Dallas Mavericks picked him up by becoming the first NBA player with multiple sclerosis. Freeman currently plays for the Iowa Energy of the NBDL and had an illustrious career under John Thompson III, earning himself Big East Preseason Player of the Year in the process. The two former All-Big East performers led Georgetown to three NCAA appearances during their four years together and will form one of the most potent 1-2 punches in the event.
Two recent St. Joe’s alum will be teaming up to form an interior duo for Barstool Philly in 6-9 C.J. Aiken and 6-8 Halil Kanacevic. Aiken was brought into the training camp of the Sacramento Kings during the start of this NBA season while Kanacevic is the only player in St. Joe’s history to record over 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 blocks.
Alum from Air Force and Notre Dame are also forming alumni teams that look to get into the field of 32.
Pat Carroll enters the event and it is unknown whether his brother, NBA veteran Matt Carroll will join him. Pat played an integral role on the 30-2 St. Joseph’s ball club alongside Delonte West and Jameer Nelson. Their historic run during his junior year ended after a heartbreaking defeat in their Elite 8 matchup to Oklahoma State. During his senior year, Carroll would go on to average over 18 points a game under Phil Martelli.
Carroll isn’t the only player in the event with an NBA bloodline as former LSU point guard Chris Bass will be suiting up for The Louisiana Krewe. Whether he is playing or not is unknown, but it is rumored that his brother and Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass will be in attendance.
ACC & Big East in the building
Besides Chris Wright and Austin Freeman, there will be some other Big East and ACC alumni competing this June with impressive resumes.
Sean Singletary will be one of the many that make up a star-studded cast at this June’s TBT. The three-time First Team All-ACC selection tore up the NCAA with averages of 19.8 points and 6.1 assists per game before being drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2008. A Philly native, look for Singletary to thrive in this March Madness-like setting during his homecoming for the Philly Patriots.
Darryl “Truck” Bryant is also confirmed to be on a roster as the former West Virginia star will be another name to watch in June. The 6-2 guard averaged 17 points per game during his senior year under Bob Huggins.
Dino Gregory will be representing the University of Maryland as the 6-7 forward will be competing on the St. Joe Effect with a group of his former high school teammates from the legendary Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. Gregory averaged just under 10 points and six rebounds for the Terrapins during his senior year in College Park.
There are 17 players currently registered that have NBA experience across the 100-plus rosters that hope to get selected to play this June. Some of the more notable names at this point include Andray Blatche, Henry Sims, Ryan Gomes and Dwayne Jones.
Blatche is a 6-11 forward for the Brooklyn Nets that has seen his role steadily increase since moving to BK. Going into this season’s playoffs, Blatche is averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game under Jason Kidd.
Sims will be joining Dino Gregory and the St. Joe Effect. Sims has had the chance to develop this past season on a rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers squad, posting averages of 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest.
Ryan Gomes was with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this season and the PC alum has put together a solid 8-year NBA stay with career averages of 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Lastly, you might remember Dwayne Jones from his days spent alongside LeBron James in Cleveland. The 7-foot center will be one of many St. Joseph’s alumni competing in the inaugural event. With 500k on the line, expect this list of NBA players to grow as GMs finalize their rosters over the next two weeks.
For more information on The Basketball Tournament, you can visit www.thetournament.com.
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