Last year former St. John’s star DJ Kennedy helped a team over European-based professionals bring home a $1 Million first prize in a fast-growing national hoops tournament which ended at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym. This year no fewer than five ex-Knicks, some as coaches and boosters and at least three as players, will try and go for double the money, $2 Million, when that same event, The Basketball Tournament, returns for the August semifinals and finals in The Bronx, with most of the field of 64 teams announced this week.
Among the former Knicks playing again for the title will be former lottery pick Michael Sweetney, who will be joined By DerMarr Johnson playing for Baltimore-based City of Gods, while Mike Bibby will suit up for “Pedro’s Posse” alongside another former NBA guard Jason Williams. Two other former Knicks, Steve Novak and Trevor Ariza, will also have coaching and support roles with other teams in the field.
The Basketball Tournament (TBT) presented by Jack Link’s® Protein Snacks announced the first 60 of the 64 teams that will compete for $2,000,000 this summer, with the remaining teams to be selected by a unique fundraising process. More than 300 teams applied to play in TBT 2016, featuring more than 400 players with professional experience and 130 with NBA experience.
Opening rounds of TBT begin July 9-10 in Charlotte and Los Angeles, and continue July 16-17 in Chicago and Philadelphia. TBT returns to Philadelphia for the Super 16 from July 21 through July 23, before moving on to New York City to for the semifinals on July 30 and the $2,000,000 Championship Game on August 2. ESPN will feature live coverage of TBT matchups from the Super 16 onward across their various channels.
“This year’s field is better than ever before,” said TBT Founder/CEO Jon Mugar in a statement Wednesday. “And that’s a good thing, since each of our teams now finds itself six wins away from $2 million. Our winner-takes-all championship August 2 on ESPN will truly be the ultimate game 7.”
In addition to the New York ties, there will be teams made up of alumni groups from schools like Syracuse, Villanova, Marquette, Gonzaga, Kentucky and Michigan State in the field for the tournament, which will be in its third year when play begins this summer.